Corey Smith at Legends Jan. 20
Growing up in rural Georgia, Corey Smith has lived the life of an underdog.
As an independent artists who's now grossing millions of dollars a year, beating the odds and carving out a niche for himself as a sought-after headliner at clubs across the nation, Smith returns to Boone on Wednesday, Jan. 20, for a performance at Legends on the Appalachian State University campus.
Recent tour stops include sold-out shows and ticket sales rivaling major label acts with radio airplay in cities like Atlanta, Ga., Raleigh and Orlando, Fla. And despite releasing his latest album, Keeping Up with the Joneses, Smith still attests that one of the best things about making music is hanging out and having a good time with his friends - ever since his early days playing the bars in Athens, Ga. These days, he has even more friends.
"To me, success is a matter of staying focused on songwriting and continuing to mature artistically," he said. "I try not to think about the popularity."
Keeping Up with the Joneses is the sixth release on Smith's own Undertone Records label and has a more "radio-ready" sound than his earlier albums, most of which center on his foundation as a solo acoustic performer.
"Some fans might find (the bigger production) challenging at first," Smith said, "but I wanted to explore new possibilities on this album, to build out my vision of the songs and give them a larger life. I am happy with the results."
And so are listeners. The album already hit No. 1 on the iTunes chart, ahead of well-known stalwarts James Taylor, Brett Dennen, Amos Lee and Simon & Garfunkel.
According to The Washington Post, "Smith comes across something like a Southern-fried Jack Johnson, or maybe Dave Matthews with a country-music jones."
Smith brings his act to Legends on Wednesday, Jan. 20. Doors open at 9 p.m., and the show is set to begin at 9:30 p.m. Tickets cost $15 in advance for students and $20 at the door and for the general public. For ticket information, visit http://www.coreysmith.com online.