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Back to the future

“American Idol” winner Scotty McCreery’s future looks bright.


August 16, 2012

As I roamed the Upper Delaware valley over the last week, I kept hearing about the plethora of events occurring simultaneously ‘round every bend. Concerts, art exhibits, plays and poetry readings were (and are) popping up all around us. Clearly, we can’t make them all. But I have chosen to highlight a few that I have been to, as well as gaze into the crystal ball and preview what lies ahead, hoping that many of our faithful River Reporter readers will meet up with me (and Dharma, of course) along the way.

As for the music scene, there was a distinct twang in the air last Friday over Bethel Woods (www.bethelwoodscenter.org) when a huge country lovin’ crowd showed up for the Brad Paisley Virtual Reality Tour. Paisley’s all-star extravaganza includes efforts to stock local food pantries all along the tour route, and his stop here provided an opportunity for fans to contribute (and ya’ll did, by the truckload) to the Sullivan County Federation for the Homeless. The needs continue throughout the year, and folks can call 845/794-2604 for information on how to help the soup kitchen, food pantry and bank.

“American Idol” winner Scotty McCreery opened the show, and it became clear why this 18-year-old took home the prize. Polished, professional and powerful, McCreery sauntered into the audience and sang his heart out to the fans, showcasing his signature bass voice, while displaying his prowess with the guitar at the same time—and I became a convert instantly. Any thoughts of this kid being a “flash in the pan” were dispelled, and his future looks incredibly bright. At one point, McCreery paused and walked the runway into the audience. “I owe it all to you, New York!” he declared. “Thank you for voting me through to the end on ‘American Idol.’ Without your support, I wouldn’t be singing here tonight, in beautiful Bethel!”

Singing siblings “The Band Perry” followed Scotty, and proved why the group has quickly garnered multiple awards, including the Country Music Association’s Song of the Year (“If I Die Young”), the 53rd Grammy Awards “Top New Artist” prize and the Country Music Awards “Breakthrough Video of the Year.” As the band’s fans sang along, lead vocalist Kimberly Perry encouraged them by shouting out “C’mon New York, help us out. Y’all sound beautiful tonight!” Although new to the scene, the family already has several platinum-selling albums and number-one chart toppers under their rhinestone belts, and their future glimmers.