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‘American Idol’ Finalist Scotty McCreery Doesn’t Just Sing, Guitar Teacher Says

Scotty McCreery
Steve Exum, Getty Images

Regardless of tonight’s results show on ‘American Idol,’ Scotty McCreery is sure to be making his debut album in the next few months. No doubt his record label bosses will have a heavy hand in choosing songs for the thick voiced 17-year-old, but they may want to save a slot for a McCreery original. His longtime guitar teacher, Gary Epperson, tells Taste of Country the Garner, N.C. kid can write a real weeper.

“I heard him do one about a girl … that was about how she had broken his heart,” Epperson says, “and the girl at the party [was] cryin’.” It was a standard teenage scene afterward, he says, with friends chasing after her. Could the smiley country crooner be hiding heartbreak?

Epperson has been McCreery’s guitar coach for eight or nine years, and he says he was impressed the first day he placed an acoustic in McCreery’s tiny hands: “Scotty, first day he had a strum and it was rhythmic. I was quite impressed for a 9-year-old.” After a few weeks, the current ‘Idol’ finalist was asking to learn Tim McGraw‘s ‘Live Like You Were Dying’ and Johnny Cash‘s ‘I Walk the Line.’

Teacher and student had a few minutes to talk at the homecoming tour on Saturday, and Epperson says he told McCreery how proud he was of him. Before McCreery left for Hollywood, Epperson says he gave just one piece of advice: “Don’t stop.” He adds, “I was real proud of him a couple of instances in Hollywood where he just totally lost his train of thought, but he got through it — he made up stuff.”

Watch Scotty McCreery Sing ‘Are You Gonna’ Kiss Me Or Not’ on ‘American Idol’

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