Chris Kroeze’s magical run on NBC’s “The Voice” ended more than three months ago.
But the bearded Barron native hasn’t stopped singing or strumming his guitar.
And eager fans who pack venues for Kroeze’s Small Town Strong tour stops can’t seem to get enough.
“Things are going super well,” Kroeze told The Country Today after a recent performance at the Meyer Theatre in Green Bay. “We’re getting awesome reception at all of the shows. It’s been a ton of fun, and the people have been super nice.”
Kroeze, a singer-songwriter whose captivating voice befits his blend of country soul music, finished as runner-up on “The Voice,” a televised vocal competition that concluded in December.
He was mentored throughout the show by country music superstar Blake Shelton, whose show he attended in Green Bay last month. Kroeze returned to Titletown to headline his own show two weeks later as part of the Small Town Strong tour.
Kroeze said he thrives on connecting with live audiences.
“With the live shows I can interact with people, and that’s one of my favorite things,” said Kroeze, who embraces his small-town roots. “The studio is a whole other thing — it’s fun but different. The studio is where you can spend 24 hours on one song if you want to. Live shows, you have to have it together. It’s fun at live shows to see how people react to what you’ve done with songs.”
The Small Town Strong tour lineup features concerts throughout Wisconsin, plus stops in Arkansas, Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota and Canada. And the list keeps growing.
“I look at my calendar and there’s new stuff every day,” Kroeze said. “But I love it. For the most part, this is what I’ve always wanted to do. It’s not hard to muster up the energy each night to go out there and perform.”
In February, Kroeze released a self-titled, eight-song album, his first since “The Voice.”
“I’m so excited to release this album and share my music with everyone that supported me on ‘The Voice,’ ” he said. “I hope everyone enjoys the music as much as I enjoy performing it.”
Raised about five miles west of Barron, Kroeze was presented with his first guitar at the age of 6 and started singing seven years later. Music has been his full-time job since the age of 20. Kroeze and his wife, Mara, have two children.
Kroeze said he’s humbled by the ongoing show of support.
“I’m shocked every night when people show up, to be honest,” he told The Country Today.
When asked how he wants people to feel after leaving his shows, Kroeze replied: “I want them to say, ‘Man, that was fun! And I need to bring some more people next time!’ ”
For more about Kroeze, his tour and his new album, visit www.chriskroezemusic.com.