In truth, Red said, Blake taught him a very basic, but very important lesson.
“I always felt a little bit like — well, you know, I’m a little different,” Red told Voice Views Wednesday afternoon, comparing himself to many of today’s country stars. “I do traditional country. I don’t dress flashy. I’m just a normal guy.
“But you know, Blake, basically, he’s the king of normal guys. I think the main thing I learned from Blake is that it’s okay to be a normal guy, do what you love to do, stick to that lane and don’t ever stray from it. That’s what I’m planning on doing for sure.”
Just like his style and his style of music, there wasn’t a whole lot flashy about Red’s blind audition. He sang “Swingin’,” turned two chairs and, quite predictably, joined Team Blake.
But months later, he was the last country singer and the last male singer standing on The Voice, finishing Season 13 in fourth place.
Now he plans to use that momentum and the attention of thousands of new fans as fuel for a country music career he’d almost given up on a year ago.
New music is in the pipeline for sure. Red, 40 when he auditioned, released three pre-Voice EPs and figures he has a head start on his next project, with a producer, management and a whole lotta songs already in place.
“I’ve been able to write for the last five or six years,” Red explained. “I’ve been in the room with some of the best of the best songwriters. They’re the best songwriters in town; I’m just lucky enough to get to sit in the room with them.
“I’ve probably got a couple hundred songs or more in my last publishing deal. We’re pretty set on songs. Don’t get me wrong. I’ll still be looking for outside songs, too. You just never know where that next gem’s going to be.”
Fans got a taste of Red the songwriter on Top 4 night. He wrote “I Pray,” the original song he performed that night, with good friend Larry McCoy. That gave his the distinction of being the only member of the Top 4 to sing a self-penned song.
“That song just always had a special place for me,” he said of his decision to perform it. “One of my very best friends in the world — his dad had passed away the night before and I was going in to write that following morning.
I went in, and the co-writer, he was going to write something upbeat and it was just one of those days. I said, ‘I’m sorry, I just can’t write that today.’ So he went over and started playing the piano and I started spitting out words and that song just fell out of the sky for us.
“That song’s always been special. And, of course, I got to sing it at the funeral the next day. I know that’s a sad story, but it was really an uplifting thing. My goal in doing music is to try to help people, to try to touch people. Anything I can sing that does that, that’s always going to be my go-to.”
If you haven’t already followed Red, here are his social media links: