Scotty McCreery says his much anticipated debut album will be in stores before Thanksgiving. In an interview with Raleigh, N.C.'s News and Observer, the singer says nine or 10 songs are finished, but he still sneaks into the recording studio each time an open date on the American Idol Live Tour pops up.

"There are some songs that just describe [McCreery's hometown] Garner perfectly," McCreery says. "Some of them will make you dance. Some of them will make you cry. And some of them are just good old inspirational country songs." He's indicated in the past that there will be no covers on the project, and it's unlikely fans will find a duet with 'American Idol' runner-up Lauren Alaina this go-around.

The 17-year-old was given a hearty welcome by his hometown fans Wednesday night. The newspaper reports that each time a reference was made to McCreery, the crowd erupted in shouts and applause. The singer didn't actually make an appearance until two hours into the show, however.

Before the show, Alaina reaffirmed that she and McCreery are not dating, but shared a special tradition the two have before taking the stage. The friendly couple prays together. "He's like my brother," she says. "I know too much about him, and he knows too much about me."

It was a welcome break from the more ordinary tour stops for McCreery. He says he got to spend time with his family, surprise his high school's football team and grab a biscuit from his favorite restaurant, BoJangles. Somehow, no one recognized him beneath his baseball cap when he made that early morning biscuit run. This weekend the tour takes McCreery and his co-contestants to Charlotte, N.C., Nashville, and St. Louis.