Music News & Reviews

Jordan Smith’s musical journey is now a road trip

Jordan Smith is set to perform Thursday at the Lyric Theatre in Lexington. The show is sold out.
Jordan Smith is set to perform Thursday at the Lyric Theatre in Lexington. The show is sold out. Invision/AP

When you get a call from Jordan Smith nowadays, you have to ask him where he is. On this particular day, the answer is somewhere between Chicago and New York, which is pretty much exactly where Smith wants to be.

“I, so far, am absolutely loving it,” Smith says of his first headlining tour, which steers to Lexington on Thursday night for a sold-out show at the Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center.

“I’ve recorded the album. I’ve done so many television appearances. I’ve had so many opportunities to do cool things. This is unlike any of those other things. It’s been so rewarding, so fun, so far — being on the bus, hanging out with the band. Having them along has been a great thing.

“But getting to experience this music with people, actual people sitting right there in front of me, it’s been really special.”

The tour is the latest reward for winning Season 9 of The Voice in December in a record-setting run that saw Smith set iTunes sales records for competitors on the show He was the first competitor on the show to reach No. 1 on the chart.

The Harlan County native’s chart success continued when his Republic Records debut, Something Beautiful, debuted at No. 2, right behind Voice judge Gwen Stefani, who less than a year earlier had put up a pretty fierce fight to get Smith on her team (Smith ultimately worked with Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine).

“Some days, it feels like it was an eternity ago,” Smith says of his Voice experience, “When I think about the fact that Season 10 is already over, that just blows my mind because its seems so long ago. But sometimes, it seems like just yesterday, too. I remember so many things from it so vividly, and every time I’m back in L.A., I end up going somewhere or seeing something, or staying in some hotel that reminds me of my time on The Voice.”

Part of what can make The Voice such a distant memory for Smith is everything that has happened since, including appearances at an NFL playoff game and the Kentucky Derby, TV time on the People’s Choice Awards and other shows, recording the debut album and releasing it with events including a hometown CD signing, and rehearsing and launching the tour, which stops in Los Angeles, Boston and Atlanta, and ends in Knoxville, close to Lee University, where he was a student until The Voice happened.

Being in the music program at Lee, which has a touring choir, helped Smith prepare for life on the road.

“So much rides on my voice and my vocal health, and it’s important for me to stay healthy and at the top of my game and vocal strength,” Smith says.

“I definitely know what to do on the road already, and knowing proper technique, knowing what to do to save my voice. Knowing how to sing correctly in the most healthy way is very important. There are times when four nights in a row I am singing extremely difficult music for an hour and a half.”

When he hits the Lyric Theatre stage, Smith says, fans will hear a combination of songs from the album and The Voice.

“It was kind of a task to find which songs will be good for the tour; which ones will have to wait until next time,” Smith says. “For me it’s a very challenging show. Rest assured, I am putting my all into the music. They’re songs that tell my story. ... Just a collection of songs that have turned out to be my favorites.”

Rich Copley: 859-231-3217, @LexGoKY.

If you go

Jordan Smith

When: 7:30 p.m. June 16

Where: Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center, 300 E. Third St.

Tickets: Sold out