The runner-up on season 10 of NBC's "The Voice" headlined the fifth annual free Smyrna at Night festival in downtown Smyrna
Country singer Adam Wakefield, runner-up on season 10 of NBC's "The Voice," headlined the Smyrna at Night music festival in downtown Smyrna Friday.
In celebration of Smyrna’s 250th anniversary, the fifth annual free festival featured Wakefield among more than 20 performers, along with children's activities, food trucks and vendors.
"Adam is the first nationally-known act we’ve had headline the event," said Jeremy Hebbel, co-owner of Gable Music Ventures which is organizes the festival with the Town of Smyrna and Strongpoint Marketing. "To give a comparison, our previous headliners have had a local following in the 1,000 to 3,000 range. Adam not only has a huge local following since he [got his start in] Baltimore, but has about 70,000 followers on his social media. We also know how much Smyrna loves country music, and his music is similar to the extremely popular Chris Stapleton brand of country."
Wakefield grew up in New Hampshire, and his original goal was to become a musician, according to the biography on his website, adamwakefieldmusic.com. He started playing piano at an early age, and decided to pursue jazz music.
After a year of college, he decided to join his brother, who was in Baltimore, and put together a band.
While juggling a full-time job in construction during the day and band practice at night, he was also writing songs. He was influenced by a wide range of performers, from Stevie Wonder to John Prine to Willie Nelson.
Wakefield said changes in his personal life led him to Nashville and he parted ways with his Baltimore band.
He put together a bluegrass group, started performing around Nashville, and occasionally went out on the road with other artists.
HIS BIG BREAK
While playing a gig in Nashville, a representative from NBC’s "The Voice" approached him and asked him to audition for the show. The audition led a runner-up finish during season 10, and his newfound name recognition was the catalyst for him to pursue a solo career.
Wakefield is now digging into all the songs he has written, introducing his original material to fans and is taking his music on the road, often opening for major headlining acts.
But at Smyrna at Night, he was the big draw, as fans filled Market Street Plaza for his performance as the culmination of the music festival.
He described his debut CD, "Adam Wakefield," as a "little left of center" due to the different musical styles he embraced in its creation.
"After putting this band together, putting these songs together and playing guitar out front, there's a lot of rock 'n' roll in it," Wakefield said on his website. "I didn't realize it was going to be like that, and while there's a lot of straight-up old-school country influence, I think it's a great combination of rock 'n' roll and country."
At Smyrna at Night, Wakefield announced that his new CD will be released later in July.
After his performance in Smyrna, Wakefield continued his tour in Baltimore Saturday.
His next shows include the Gas City Concert in the Park in Indiana July 10, the Sam Jam Bluegrass Festival in Ohio Aug. 31, and Minglewood Hall in Memphis, Tennessee Sept. 21.