On Tuesday night’s episode of the NBC singing competition “The Voice,” Jack Gregori impressed the celebrity judges, along with many of the show’s 15 million viewers.
But on Wednesday night, he hoped to wow a far smaller crowd at his regular weekly gig at Madam’s Organ, the blues bar in Adams Morgan. Gregori is a Washington lawyer who spends his days poring over real estate titles and his nights playing country tunes with his band, Human Country Jukebox, at venues around the city, including Gypsy Sally in Georgetown and Chinatown’s Hill Country.
On Tuesday, during blind auditions on “The Voice” — where the celebrity judges listen to the performances with their backs turned, then swivel around if they want to enlist the singer to be a part of their team — Gregori’s rendition of “Ring of Fire” won him a spot on Team Adam Levine.
In an interview on Wednesday, Gregori couldn’t tell us much about how things play out in the competition (the episode that aired on Tuesday was filmed in October), but he says his experience on the show taught him a few things. Audiences might see a slightly more “polished” performer these days, he says. “And the off-color jokes in between songs might be more infrequent.”
He’s got a rise-from-the-ashes story that’s made for the pathos of reality TV: After the real estate crash of 2008, he lost the title-search company he founded and had to take in housemates to avoid foreclosure on his Adams Morgan rowhouse. After that, he decided to scale back his day job and focus more on his music, which led to the spot on “The Voice.”
He’s hoping that exposure to the show’s national audience will be a springboard for bigger things — maybe a contract with a label, albums, tours. “That’s the dream,” he says. For now, he hopes his appearance will bring more attention to Washington’s music scene. “I’d like people to see there’s a lot of great music in D.C.,” he says.
Madams Organ owner Bill Duggan, who first heard Gregori sing at the bar’s open-mike night and recruited him to play regular gigs, thinks reaching the big time is only a matter of time for him. “Oh, I’ll lose him at some point — and I’ll be happy to lose him,” he says.
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