Interview: Scotty McCreery, Jimmie Allen Ready to Tell Stories ‘Up Close and in Person’ on Seasons Change Tour
Scotty McCreery has said that his latest studio album, Seasons Change, is his most personal projects to date, and one of the closest to his heart. With that in mind, when it came time for him to select artists to go on the road with him for his Seasons Change Tour, asking country up-and-comers Jimmie Allen and Heather Morgan to open the show was a no-brainer. McCreery and Allen recently sat down with The Boot to chat about the upcoming trek and how they decided to hit the road together.
"I've known Jimmie for years now, being here in town, and it seems like Jimmie's always everywhere," McCreery says with a laugh. "It's always cool to see him around, and he's such a talented guy, and such a nice guy. You don't find that too often. We're glad to have him out, and I'm glad he said yes."
For Allen, the feelings are mutual: "Like he said, you don't often find artists that not only you respect, but who have the same morals and stuff like that," he says. "I always wanna align myself with people I respect. I always wanna take a step back and think, 'How is this person as a person?'"
"I feel like once you tour with somebody, you tie your name with them, and however they are, people associate that with you," Allen adds. "Scotty McCreery's name? I was like, 'Let's start tomorrow!'"
Both artists are committed songwriters, who rely on music to tell their personal stories and connect to those of their fans. Before putting out Seasons Change, it had been five years since McCreery released an album; he says that, after the long process of creating the record, he's looking forward to the instant gratification of singing his songs and hearing the fans sing them back.
"That's an instant rush, and you don't get anything else like it anywhere in the world," he relates. "You get to see the fans face to face; they're right there, and you get to see them and interact. So there's nothing like playing a record live, especially one that's this personal. It gives me a chance to tell my story up close and in person."
McCreery's current single, "This Is It," tells an especially personal story about the country singer's life: He wrote the song before marrying his longtime girlfriend, Gabi Dugal, and the accompanying music video gives viewers a front-row seat at their wedding.
"That was the thought behind the video, to kind of invite [fans] to the wedding so they can see the behind-the-scenes of us getting ready, and just the day in general," he explains. "They captured the emotion just like we wanted. Watching it was bringing me to tears, just thinking back to those moments."
Although McCreery wrote the song about his own love story, once he released it, he immediately began to hear from fans who connected to "This Is It" through stories of their own. "It wasn't a week later when I was getting tweets about it, like, 'Hey, we're using this at our wedding.' Or, 'This is our first dance,'" he recalls. "It's just so cool that they can connect to something I wrote that's so personal."
Like McCreery, Allen also has a single out to radio that has taken on personal meaning for many of his listeners. "Best Shot" is a declaration of commitment and devotion, even in the face of adversity, something Allen -- and many of his fans -- can relate to on a personal level.
"I had some one reach out and tell me that her husband just went overseas; he's in the military. She said that "Best Shot" is their song, and it keeps him in the front of her mind, and her in the front of his mind, while he's over there," Allen notes. "Realizing that not only is he out fighting for our country, but hearing them tie that into a song I wrote, I'm like, 'Wow.'"
Family is an important piece of both artists' careers, and both Allen and McCreery agree that they're hoping to have their loved ones out on the road with them for as much time as possible. "I might ask Scotty's wife to babysit my son!" Allen jokes.
"[They'll be out there] as much as they can, if it's up to me," McCreery agrees. "I love everybody being out there, so the more there are, the merrier, in my camp. Gabi'll be out there, and she'll bring some of her friends out, too. It'll be a big party."
The Seasons Change Tour is set to kick off on Nov. 29 in Dallas, Texas. Tickets are on sale now; for more information, go to McCreery's website.
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