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A musical Phoenix is hoping his career will take flight starting with a Friday night gig at Pit Stop in Sparta.
Owenton resident Clayton Phoenix Smith has been honing his musical attributes for years, and his long road has led him back to a community where his grandfather grew up.
The journey started in Smith’s hometown of South Philadelphia, where he worked in small venues while developing his talent. His father also cut some records while living in Philadelphia.
The younger Smith headed out to Las Vegas where he performed at several notable venues including Caesar’s Palace, the Imperial Palace Casino along with several lounges and restaurants.
“Working in Vegas was a great learning experience,” Smith said. “I made some good contacts there but at that time, if you wanted make it in the music business, you had to be in Los Angeles.”
So Smith once again took his act on the road, this time with L.A. as his destination.
It was in Los Angeles where Smith met record producer David Day.
With Day’s help and production assistance, Smith created his new single, “Yes, No, Maybe,” which is starting to garner attention and airplay in Kentucky.
Smith returned to Kentucky in hopes of jump-starting his career and currently lives in Owenton with his uncle, Ron Smith, who also serves as his manager.
Recently, Smith was invited to appear on a Frankfort radio station, Froggy 104, to discuss his career and launch the single.
“We are out doing a lot of promotion,” Ron Smith said. “We’ve heard nothing but positive responses from everyone who’s heard it.”
Despite the acclaim his talent has generated, the singer works to keep things in perspective.
“It’s just a gift,” Clayton Phoenix Smith said. “I try to be humble about it. I just wanna entertain people and share what I have. Hopefully, I will make other people happy while they have a good time.”
With the help of his uncle, Clayton Phoenix Smith hopes his career will soon take off.
“We work really hard on the songs, not only performing them but producing them as well,” Clayton Phoenix Smith said. “We’ll work on songs for hours and hours. I’m a perfectionist and I want every single note to be just right, just perfect.”
Friday, his talents will be on display at the Pit Stop in Sparta where he will perform as part of Ladies Night at the Sparta club.
“I just hope people will come out and have a good time,” Clayton Phoenix Smith said. “This will be a good chance for people around here to come out and maybe hear some kinds of music that isn’t usually offered around here.”
Although Clayton Phoenix Smith uses musical backing tracks instead of a live band, the singer said he will perform several different styles of music.
“At this point, I prefer performing without a band,” Clayton Phoenix Smith said. “I want to focus on my career and my own music. Once you have a band, there are a lot of egos and everyone wants to think about their own career. This way, I can focus on what I want to do and my own music.”
During his 26-song sets, fans will hear a wide variety of music.
“He can do it all,” Ron Smith said. “People will hear everything from Elvis to Bon Jovi and just about everything in between.”
Clayton Phoenix Smith will take the stage at the Pit Stop around 8 p.m. Friday and invites everyone to come out and have a good time.
“It should be a pretty good experience for everyone,” Clayton Phoenix Smith said. “Plus, it’s Ladies Night and that’s always fun.”