Jor­dan Smith, Voices of Lee on ‘CMA Coun­try Christ­mas’

Chattanooga Times Free Press - ChattanoogaNow - - MUSIC - STAFF RE­PORT

Lee Uni­ver­sity’s mu­si­cal ties run deep on the 2016 edi­tion of “CMA Coun­try Christ­mas.”

The hol­i­day spe­cial, air­ing at 8 p.m. EST Mon­day, Nov. 28, on ABC, fea­tures the elite a cap­pella group Voices of Lee and two alumni who’ve sold a few mil­lion records: “The Voice” win­ner Jor­dan Smith and Jay DeMar­cus of coun­try trio Ras­cal Flatts.

The two- hour show was taped ear­lier this month at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. Voices of Lee was recorded singing backup for Ras­cal Flatts on two songs: “Joy to the World” and “Hark the Her­ald An­gels Sing.”

Si ngled out as t he night’s “stand­out per­for­mances” by Tas­te­ofCoun­try.com were “a stun­ning ver­sion of ‘ O Come All Ye Faith­ful’” by Sarah McLach­lan, “a chill- in­duc­ing a cap­pella per­for- mance of ‘Hark the Her­ald An­gels Sing’ from Ras­cal Flatts and ‘ The Voice’ win­ner Jor­dan Smith, who blew the au­di­ence away with an in­cred­i­ble take on the Grinch clas­sic ‘You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.’”

Jen­nifer Net­tles hosts the show, which fea­tures stars Brett El­dredge, Kelly Clark­son, Kelsea Bal­lerini, Kacey Mus­graves, Chris Young and Brad Pais­ley.

“What a great ex­pe­ri­ence! We re­ally en­joyed be­ing a part of this Christ­mas spe­cial,” said Danny Mur­ray, di­rec­tor of Voices of Lee and a close friend of DeMar­cus’.

Voices of Lee was orig­i­nally in­vited to per­form back­ground vo­cals for an a cap­pella song on Ras­cal Flatts’ new Christ­mas al­bum, but the qual­ity of their per­for­mance led to an in­vi­ta­tion to sing with the trio dur­ing the record­ing of the Christ­mas spe­cial, ac­cord­ing to Lee of­fi­cials. •••

STAFF FILE PHOTO BY DOUG STRICK­LAND

Jor­dan Smith will sing “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” from his new al­bum, “’Tis the Sea­son,” on “CMA Coun­try Christ­mas.” He also will per­form Nov. 30 on NBC’s “Christ­mas in Rock­e­feller Cen­ter.”

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