As Scotty McCreery gets older and wiser, so does his music, he hopes.
The one-time “American Idol” champion, now 21, is spending 2015 in the studio and on the road. Taking a break from recording his third album, McCreery will stop in southeastern Minnesota for a show at 8 p.m. Saturday at Treasure Island Resort & Casino.
There, concertgoers are likely to observe McCreery’s growth into a more mature country artist.
“It’s not like I will be going wild on this album, but it will definitely be a more grown-up Scotty, a more grown-up theme,” McCreery said. “The new album will be all about where I’m at in my life right now, a reflection on that.” The CD should be out late this year or early 2016.
McCreery doesn’t plan to play any new music this weekend at Treasure Island, but he will, however, play his well-known hits, plus some favorite cover songs from the likes of George Strait, Garth Brooks, George Jones and Merle Haggard in a 90-minute set.
“People don’t hear that kind of music much anymore,” he said. “Every time we play those songs in the show, the energy in the room rises. People instantly recognize those songs.”
McCreery was just 16 years old when he won Season 10 of “American Idol” and just 18 when his first CD, the platinum-selling “Clear As Day,” was released. McCreery said the album, whose two singles “The Trouble with Girls” and “I Love You This Big” combined to sell more than 1.5 million digital singles, was recorded quickly while he was on the road with the other “American Idol” finalists. Also, seeing how he was in high school at the time, the themes of the record weren’t exactly adult.
McCreery said he spent a lot more time writing and recording his second album, “See You Tonight,” which spawned two top-20 singles, “See You Tonight” and “I’m Feelin’ It.”
“The two albums were night and day,” McCreery said. “I was only 17 when I was recording the first album, and I was crazy busy then. We (“American Idol” finalists) went on a 50-shows-in-70-days tour. There just wasn’t enough time to record an album. For “See You Tonight,” we took a year and wrote and found songs that really fit my life at that time.”
This won’t be McCreery’s first stop in the area. Last Memorial Day Weekend, McCreery closed out the Saturday lineup at the Tree Town Music Festival, in Forest City, Iowa, filling in for Brad Paisley, who had decided to visit U.S. troops in Afghanistan and shifted his set to 2 p.m. in order to catch a flight. Organizers then moved McCreery to the late-night slot.
“We had fun,” McCreery said. “We just did our thing and tried to bring the crowd along with us. Obviously, I don’t have as many hits as Brad Paisley does, but we tried to give him what we got. And gave them 100 percent.”