Scotty McCreery Turns Up the Honky-Tonk Vibes with ‘Can’t Pass the Bar’

The country star wanted to write his own version of a ’90s country barn burner.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

January 12, 2024


3:52 pm

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Scotty McCreery; Photo by Dustin Downing, CMA

Scotty McCreery‘s ‘90s country spirit comes to life in his lively new song, “Can’t Pass the Bar.”

Written by McCreery, Brent Anderson, Cale Dodds, and Frank Rogers and produced by Rogers, Derek Wells, and Aaron Eshuis, the fresh release is the perfect soundtrack to a Friday night as it finds the North Carolina native celebrating the end of a work week with some blue-collar “good ole boys.”

“I grew up loving ‘90s country music, especially the barn burning songs. I wanted one of my own, so I got together with some of my buddies and we wrote it,” McCreery shared of the new song. “Can’t wait to perform this song live on the Cab in a Solo Tour.”

Scotty McCreery - Can't Pass The Bar
Scotty McCreery – Can’t Pass The Bar

The storyline of the small-town anthem is paired with tongue-in-cheek lyrics delivered by McCreery’s baritone vocals amid the boot-stomping beat.
“When the long week’s paychecks are cashed/ Where we gonna spend it, buddy you ain’t gotta ask/ When the neon lights are kicking on, all of us are heading/ To a home away from home/ We don’t look like much but we’re pretty damn smart/ For some good ole boys that can’t pass the bar,” McCreery sings on the chorus.


As he expressed in a recent social media post, the fast-paced nature of “Can’t Pass the Bar,” will be “toughhh” to perform live, thus motivating him to get some extra cardio workouts in before embarking on his 2024 headline trek.

“I just realized this morning that if I want to have any chance whatsoever at singing this song live, I better do a whole lot more of this,” he said while panning the camera to his cycling workout. 

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“Cab In The Solo” Makes Its Way Up The Charts

This marks the first song of the year from McCreery and follows the release of his current rising radio single, “Cab In a Solo,” which also emulates the beloved ‘90s country sound. Laced with nostalgia, the tune illustrates the story of a man who witnesses his ex moving on with someone new and finds himself alone in his truck with the bottle of a 1998 Silver Oak.

“It’s not a smiling song,” he told Billboard. “But I’m happy to sing it, because it kind of takes me back to what I grew up listening to.”

Photo Courtesy Scotty McCreery
Photo Courtesy Scotty McCreery

The heartbreak-centered track earned 120 first-week adds at country radio, the most he’s seen in his career yet. It is currently sitting in the Top 20 on both Mediabase (17)and Billboard at (20).

On top of his radio success, McCreery had the honor of being inducted to the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in October and was invited to join the Grand Ole Opry in December by one of his musical heroes, Garth Brooks. 

New Album + Tour Coming Soon

Both “Cab In A Solo” and “Can’t Pass The Bar” are slated to appear on Scotty McCreery’s next album. Other than the fact that the forthcoming project was penned during a writing retreat in the mountains with a few fellow songwriters, there are little details known about the collection, including when it will be released. 

With a new album in the works, fans can catch Scotty McCreery on the road for his Cab in a Solo Tour, which kicks off Friday, Jan. 26 at Troy, Ohio’s Hobart Arena.

The tour, produced by Live Nation, will include stops in Atlanta, Philadelphia, Boston and more. Anne Wilson as well as Greylan James and Noah Hicks will serve as support on select dates.

The first three shows in Ohio, Indiana and North Carolina are nearly sold out. Tickets for the Cab in a Solo Tour are on sale now at

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.