Scotty McCreery Recalls Hearing ‘Damn Strait’ For the First Time

Scotty McCreery will likely soon have another No. 1 hit on his hands, with “Damn Strait.” The song, from McCreery’s latest Same Truck album, was written by Jim Collins and Trent Tomlinson, but resonated with McCreery as soon as he heard it, because of his deep admiration for George Strait.

“It was everything I wanted it to be,” McCreery tells CMT. “Everything we tried to capture in the studio, I feel like we did. It just to me sounded like radio.”

“Damn Strait” is one of only two songs on Same Truck that McCreery did not write. Still, he knew when he heard it that it was perfect for his latest project.

“I was actually down at the beach,” the singer recalls. “I was there by myself cleaning up after a hurricane. I took a break and I got an email from my label, and they’re like, ‘Hey, check out this song.’ We’re in the middle of making a record, and you’re getting songs sent to you every day. A lot of good ones, a lot of great ones, but rarely one that stops you in your tracks. And this song did that for me. I kind of had a mini freak-out moment. I sent it to my friends, I sent it to my wife, I sent it to my family, and they all had the same reaction.”

What makes “Damn Strait” even more special is that when the two songwriters wrote it, they had the American Idol alum in mind.

“The thing I love about ‘Damn Strait’ is, this is your classic country heartbreak song, all at the same time while being a tribute to George Strait,” McCreery says. “Jim Collins and Trent Tomlinson, they wrote a fantastic song. These songs are getting pitched around. Songwriters, obviously they want their songs cut. Luckily, they thought of me first, which is awesome.”

McCreery shot the “Damn Strait” video at Gruene Hall, in New Braunfels, Texas, which is where Strait’s own career began.

“The video was very fun to shoot,” McCreery recounts. “It’s an easy way to shoot a video, just to do it in Nashville. Everybody’s here, you just get it done and make it happen. But this was a George Strait tribute song, so we gotta do this in Texas. It was like, ‘Gruene Hall.’ That’s where George got his start with Ace and the whole band. You go down there, and it’s George everywhere. George pictures. George memorabilia. George swag. He’s all over the place.”

“The very beginning of the video for me was the coolest to shoot, because they had all of the cops out there just stopping traffic,” he adds. “People were trying to get to lunch, into dinner. And it’s like, ‘What the heck’s going on?’ It was super exciting for me as a George fan to be there.”

The 28-year-old is no stranger to No. 1 hits, with four consecutive ones to his credit, including his latest chart-topping single, “You Time.” Still, McCreery admits that there is something very special about “Damn Strait,” and the impact it has had on his career.

“I have not had a song react like this in my career so far,” McCreery maintains. “We’ve been doing it coming on 11 years now, and just the reaction we get in our crowds, every day people are already yelling it and the song, it isn’t really that old, but they’re screaming it back to us. On the radio charts, it’s my fastest-charting single of my career. I’m just taking it in. I’m enjoying the moment. I’m trying to be present and not get ahead of it. Just enjoy it. It’s been a fun ride so far.”

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