The Jarrettsville, Md., resident happened to be in Nashville with her husband Wayne last fall, about a week before the Season 7 premiere of the show.
They stopped at a honkytonk called the Tin Roof “something-or-other,” she said.
Two friends were on stage performing a free show. One was Craig Wayne Boyd.
“I thought they were fantastic,” Wende recalled. “I gave them a big tip.”
She remembers some mention of The Voice. Her husband encouraged her to have her photo taken with Craig.
“I didn’t want to bother him,” she said. “I’ll regret that forever. Now, here I am paying to watch him.”
So were several hundred other Craig Wayne Boyd fans as the Season 7 winner took the stage at the Pullo Center in York Thursday night.
Craig treated fans to a mix of material he’d already released, songs from an upcoming debut album and tunes he covered on The Voice.
He rocked as much as he twanged. And the fans rocked along with him.
For more photos from Thursday’s show, go here.
Crowd favorites included Craig’s own twist on “Working Man Blues” and Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line.” His cover of the latter song landed in the Top 10 on iTunes after Craig performed it on The Voice.
A medley of “Keep Your Hands to Yourself” and “Achy Breaky Heart” got fans out of their seats. The two singles Craig has released since auditioning for the show – “My Baby’s Got a Smile on Her Face” and “I’m Still Here” – were also especially well received.
“I’m Still Here” pretty much sums up Craig’s career, he admitted. He headed to Nashville 12 years ago, hoping for quick success.
Success came much later, of course, in the form of The Voice.
“Never in a million years did I expect what I got out of the show,” he told the crowd before thanking them for their support.
The show also included a guest appearance by DaNica Shirey, York’s own finalist on The Voice.And by the time Craig ended it with a heartfelt rendition of “Rugged Old Cross,” pretty much all the fans were on their feet.
What sets Craig Wayne Boyd apart from other singers?
Charla Zumbrum, 62, of York, says he just “has that look” a country singer needs and believes he “comes across the best” of any country singer who has appeared on the show’s first eight seasons.
Donna Tracey, 69, of Hampstead, Md., said she appreciates the perseverance Craig has shown in the music business and likes the fact that he comes across as so down to earth.
Speaking of which, in a scene TMZ should have seen, Craig stuck around the lobby of The Pullo Center well after the show ended to meet fans, sign autographs and pose for dozens upon dozens of photos.
His show in York drew a diverse crowd, including 15-year-old Morgane Jobert of France, an exchange student being treated to the show by her host mom, Nancy Brenner of Mount Wolf.
Nancy said she grew to appreciate Craig’s music and personality over the course of Season 7, though she’s not really a fan of country music.
Morgane arrived at Thursday’s show in the same situation, saying she’d have to learn an appreciation for country music.
But Craig wound up winning her over, too.
“The first song was awesome,” she said after the show. “The rest were very, very good, too. I think I’m his first French fan.”