My cousin, her twin girls and I were headed somewhere in their SUV. I don’t remember where exactly. She got this look in her eye I’ve come to know so well over the years. She had a song/singer she wanted to introduce me to. “Have you heard of Scotty McCreery?” We didn’t watch American Idol the season he was on so I wasn’t familiar with him.
She hit a button or two on the fancy stereo system and suddenly, this deep, resounding voice filled the air. He sang about mamas and pecan pie and dirt roads. I’ve been listening to Scotty McCreery ever since. Here's my favorite song of his, Back on the Ground:
Video Credit: Cassidy Panko (YouTube)
So, when I had the opportunity to review his book, Go Big or Go Home: The Journey Toward The Dream, I jumped at the chance to learn more about this voice that wowed me. In reading the book, I realized a lot of people would enjoy it. Here are six types of people who I'd recommend the book to:
1. Country and Western Music fans
Not these pop country people who like some rap and rocking guitars in their country. The ones who still have Merle Haggard, George Jones and Garth Brooks on cassette tape. Scotty can cover these guys with the best of them.
Conway, Elvis, George, and Garth are those one-of-a-kind souls with very large shadows. I’m happy to stand in those shadows and allow the gracious spotlight of the Grand Ole Opry to shine on me for a moment to remind others about them.
2. American Idol fans
I was hoping to learn some inside scoop on what it’s really like to be a contestant on one of these reality shows. Even if country music isn't your thing, Scotty shares story after story, including the time he was asked to sing Lady Gaga.
Scotty: I start to sing "Bad Romance" - the song everybody in America knows. By the time I’m singing "rah rah ah ah ah," I have to stop.
"This is not on my country station back home, I tell them."
The producers burst out in laughter.
Producers: “We know. We just wanted to hear you sing it.”
3) Elvis fans
New to me but Scotty’s favorite singer of all time is Elvis. He’s listened to him since he was a little kid and still counts him as the singer who influenced him most.
Scotty: Right before I perform, I receive one of the coolest compliments ever. Priscilla Presley happens to be in the audience. She comes over before the cameras go live.
Priscilla: "Scotty," she says in a whisper, "can I tell you something?"
Priscilla: "Elvis would have loved you."
4) People with a deep love for small towns, Southern or otherwise
I write a lot about the small towns I’ve called lived in here in Michigan and in Missouri. It’s hard to describe unless you’ve lived in one. There’s a community feeling that lets you know you’re truly “home.”
Garner, North Carolina, could be the setting of a thousand country songs. People living here know what family, faith, and community mean. And food too.
Members of Scotty McCreery’s official fan club. Of course, they had their books pre-ordered well before it came out this month.
The first time we saw Scotty, we knew how talented and gifted he was. Driving down from Quebec to Nashville was worth the trip to meet him at Idol’s VIP experience. -Rose-Laurence Samson
6) Readers of the Christian Living genre
Scotty is a strong Christian and talks a lot about his faith in this book. He shows a great deal of integrity in some of the experiences he encounters. It was encouraging to read.
There are moments in your life when you have to forget about everything else and simply do the right thing.
Although I’m not an official member of his fan club, I fall into each of these categories. I enjoyed the book a great deal. Scotty, keep it up!
I received a copy of "Go Big or Go Home" written by Scotty McCreery, from NetGalley for the purpose of generating a review. Italicized quotes are the from the book. The opinions expressed here are my own.