(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that's happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)
What a dichotomous life he's living, that Scotty McCreery. One day he's releasing the track list for his upcoming debut album, the next day he's heading back into his North Carolina high school to hit the books. "We get a four-day break here before the Philippines, so I'm gonna be heading back and catching up on the books and going back to the high school and getting behind the desk," he said in a recent radio interview about his break from the Idols Live tour. "I'm telling you, all the kids complain about school, but what I'd give to just go take one more test." The grass is always greener, right? But meanwhile, once those tests and papers and bibliographies are behind him, McCreery's album, Clear as Day, will come out. And if the list of songwriters on it is any indication, it is going to be one of the best country albums of the year. Nashville's finest, who have each written one of my favorite songs, contributed new material to McCreery's project. Guys like Tim Nichols ("I'll Think of a Reason Later"), Casey Beathard ("The Boys of Fall"), Chris Tompkins ("Before He Cheats"), Craig Wiseman ("The Good Stuff"), Neil Thrasher ("I Melt"), Rhett Atkins ("Put a Girl in It") and more. I can't wait to hear what they've done for McCreery.