Scotty McCreery is making himself comfortable on top. The singer’s brand-new album, Seasons Change, has debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. McCreery’s new project pushed more than 40,000 units in its first week — it was released on March 16 — propelling him to the top spot on the chart. He also gets the honor of having one of the best first weeks in the past year for a country album.
Seasons Change follows the trajectory of his previous albums, like his debut Clear as Day, holiday project Christmas With Scotty McCreery and sophomore release, See You Tonight. McCreery had another win in early 2018 when the heartfelt “Five More Minutes” became his first No. 1 single.
“It’s been quite a journey these last few years, and to learn that Seasons Change has debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart is awesome and so gratifying,” McCreery says of the album’s success. “I’m glad everyone is enjoying the new music. I am so thankful to my fans, who have always been so supportive. With a No. 1 album, my first-ever No. 1 single, and my upcoming wedding to the love of my life, I just don’t see how 2018 can get any better!”
This is just one piece of exciting news the American Idol winner has to celebrate this year. He announced his engagement to Gabi Dugal in September of 2017, and the two are currently in planning mode for their upcoming nuptials. He’ll also serve as a mentor to the Top 24 contestants on the American Idol revival on ABC.
For Farewell Angelina, loyalty is important. The country quartet relied on their loyal fan base to win them a coveted spot in the 2017 Taste of Country RISERS class. As a group their loyalty to one another shines through, and each is individually loyal to where she came from.
Look no further than the creature comforts they bring on the road. Nicole Witt travels with her grandfather’s fiddle, a 1922 model so well loved that the varnish has worn off at the thumb grip. For Lisa Torres, it’s her husband’s old sweatshirt. Lauren Lucas brings a sentimental artifact from before her time, a 1943 photo of her grandparents, taken the year they married. “I’m named after my grandmother, my middle name, so she was one of my biggest fans and we were very close. She helped raise me,” Lucas says.
Rare is a modern country band with double fiddles, but Witt and Andrea Young play around and through each other with affection and aplomb. Lucas and Torres strum guitar. All four women sing. “Off stage, we really enjoy spending time together,” Witt says. “We all enjoy a good glass of wine, there are some fitness enthusiasts in the band, so there’s a lot of that going on. But we love football and sports and there’s lots of things outside of music that we enjoy collectively.”
The group of longtime friends and sometimes collaborators solidified just recently with the addition of Lucas. Prior to that, each had known one another from late-night jams and unofficial hangs around town. It’s a classic Nashville story that proves hard work and the right attitude will pay off. Fans made Farewell Angelina the Hot Seat poll winner in January. Unlike the other RISERS, they were 100 percent chosen by fans.
“For me, I would have been as loyal as our fans were to Little Texas,” Lucas says. “When I was a teenager I would make trips to Nashville from Columbia, South Carolina. I was starting to sing in Nashville already, and I would listen to cassette tapes of Little Texas through the entire drive. When I would get dressed in the morning I would sing it in my hairbrush and would pretend that they asked me to be the only female band member of Little Texas.”
“And she told them this a couple weeks ago,” Young chimes in. “Yes, we wrote together, met them, did a show, and I poured my heart out to them.” Farewell Angelina — named after a Bob Dylan song — will be heavy on the road in 2017. In between live dates they’ll be writing and recording new music.