‘The Voice Tour’ Review

The Voice Tour

I had the opportunity to check out the new iteration of The Voice Tour in San Diego last week at one of its final stops, and now I can weigh in with my verdict. Was it as good as the first tour? Does it have what it takes to last more than one round? I weigh in on those issues, and spotlight some of the best performances, in my review at Examiner.  (It does not include  reference to when Will Champlin and Jake Worthington made me sing Taylor Swift. Sorry, America.)

Click here to read my The Voice Tour review at Examiner.

(c)2014 Brittany Frederick. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.

Photo Credit: Melissa Borgmeyer for BFTV

News Roundup: December 12, 2013

The Voice - Season 4

The Internet is abuzz with the news that The Voice has announced its Season 5 finalists, but that’s not all that’s happening this week. We had several former competitors return to the show, a few more drop by just to say hello, and Blake Shelton crashed someone else’s Christmas special again this year.

On Tuesday, four acts from The Voice‘s past two seasons came back to promote their new music, and we found out what they’ve been up to. Season 3 winner Cassadee Pope performed the next single from her recent album, and discovered that the album has gone gold.

Her successor and Big Machine Records labelmate, Danielle Bradbery, just released her self-titled debut album and has her song being used in a video package for NBC’s coverage of the upcoming Sochi Olympics. You can check that out below.

Season 4 runner-up Michelle Chamuel premiered “Go Down Singing,” her first single since the show, with some help from the USC marching band’s drumline. She revealed that she’s still in touch with coach Usher and working on an album to be released next year. The best place to find more information about that is her website (michellechamuel.com).

As for The Swon Brothers, Zach and Colton dropped their new single “Later On.” They’re signed to Arista Nashville and also working on their forthcoming album. And they have lost none of their sense of fun whatsoever, with Colton joking that Zach still blames him for bad shows.

There were several old friends in the audience on Tuesday that did not perform, all from Season 2. We saw Team Cee Lo’s Jamar Rogers (who is looking much better after his health scare earlier this year!), Team Christina’s Chris Mann, and Team Adam’s Katrina Parker. Jamar is one of the artists featured on Starbucks’ Voice music sampler, which you can download for free online by visiting Starbucks.com. It also includes music from Michelle Chamuel, Terry McDermott, and Nicholas David, among others.

As for Chris and Katrina? He’s continuing his takeover of PBS, as his second special, Home For Christmas, is now airing on stations around the country. Check your local listings for specific channel and airdates, or you can also watch it online via the PBS website. A CD/DVD combo pack is available on Amazon too. Here’s the trailer.

While Chris is still touring and getting ready to work on his second album, Katrina just put on a wonderful Christmas show at the Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles, which she’s bringing online to StageIt very soon; be sure to follow her on Twitter (@katrinapmusic) for more info.

If you watched Kelly Clarkson’s holiday special on NBC last night, you were treated to our very own Blake Shelton in an elf costume. This after he had his own special last year, along with dropping in on Michael Buble’s, as well. Basically, it’s not Christmas on NBC until Blake shows up somewhere.

Oh, and while you were reading this, Blake probably won another American County Award, too. He took home four this week. So, congrats Blake! You may not have an artist in the Voice finale this year, but we think you’re going to be okay.

For more on all things related to The Voice, be sure to check out BFTV’s sister site Big Red Chairs and follow us on Twitter (@bigredchairs).

(c)2013 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse and Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.

News Roundup: October 3, 2013

The Voice

News and notes from around The Voice universe:

As mentioned in last week’s roundup, Cassadee Pope’s CMT series Cassadee Pope: Frame by Frame debuts tomorrow night. Check your local listings to find the specific channel and airtime in your area. It leads right into the arrival of Cassadee’s first post-show album, Frame by Frame, which hits stores on Tuesday, October 8.

On Monday, we posted our interview with Chris Mann, who had a lot of news to share with us prior to his concert at the City National Grove of Anaheim last Friday. That included the fact that he’ll have a second PBS special airing in November or December for Christmas, with an accompanying album – his fourth since leaving the show! To get all the details on what Chris has been up to, click here to read the full interview.

This week also saw some new videos from Voice alums on YouTube. Pip posted a cover of Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse,” which you can find here. And we’ve finally located Purrfect the Cat – in this video from our friends at the show, who have dug up the “lost auditions” to be coach Cee Lo Green’s pet. Thanks to our Voice family for the laughs!

For more on all things related to The Voice, be sure to check out BFTV’s sister site Big Red Chairs and follow us on Twitter (@bigredchairs).

(c)2013 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse and Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.

Artist Update: Chris Mann

CR: Jeffry Fasano

CR: Jeffry Fasano

Chris Mann’s rise in the music world can be described with two phrases: impressive and well-deserved. Since wowing audiences on Season 2 of NBC’s The Voice in 2012, the Kansas native has been riding high; he signed a recording deal with Universal Republic, has released three records, had his own PBS special, and is in the middle of a nationwide headlining tour.

Yet what shouldn’t be overlooked is that this windfall was very much earned. He might be known as ‘Chris Mann from The Voice‘ to the world, but he’s established himself as a legitimate artist who doesn’t need the reality TV label. His album Roads was one of the best records of 2012. He has range, power, and charisma, and is one of the gentlemen of music. Even with his busy schedule, Chris took some time before his Friday concert at the Grove of Anaheim to chat with BFTV about his plans for the rest of 2013 – and what it’s like to experience this level of success.

“It’s obviously really fun,” he said of his current tour. “I’ve gotten to play some really amazing places – Humphrey’s [By The Bay], I’m going to be in Las Vegas this fall – to playing small towns that I’ve never been to, like Mason City, Iowa, which was amazing.

“I’m always surprised because everything is different. Every crowd’s different,” he continued. “Cranston, Rhode Island was a really rowdy, big crowd and I loved that. That might’ve been one of my favorite crowds of the whole tour. I’m really enjoying getting to have each show different from day to day.”

Another thing that makes Chris’s tour stand out is that for a select shows, he’s backed by various symphonies. “The tour has some really exciting symphony dates,” he explained. “The next one would be with the Atlanta Symphony coming up very shortly [on October 18]. If you’re coming to a symphony show, you get me being backed by a full symphony, and I do a little different set for those shows. I do a lot of songs people have never heard me do before.

“If you’re coming to another show, it’s a really intimate show, which I love, and I get to be really communicative and share my story over 90 minutes. People get to hear songs from The Voice, from Roads, and from the PBS special.”

On Friday at the Grove of Anaheim, Chris put on a performance that proved he’s not to be missed when he comes to your city. The set list was perfectly constructed, with selections from The Voice, from Roads and from Chris Mann In Concert that somehow managed to sound even better than their recorded versions. The show, however, is far beyond a live reiteration of what you’ve already heard. There are a few songs you won’t be expecting (and we’re not going to tell you what they are) that he knocks out of the park just as much as the more familiar material. It’s an excellent sampling of everything Chris is capable of, across a variety of genres and even in multiple languages. He’ll leave your jaw on the floor once again.

Beyond the talent, the show also demonstrates the reason people go to see live music in the first place: for something above the experience we get listening to an artist’s recordings. Not only does Chris sound even better in concert, but he’s a natural showman on stage, sharing various anecdotes from his life, cracking plenty of jokes, and interacting with the crowd throughout the evening. It’s not just listening to great music; it’s also a whole heck of a lot of fun. If you haven’t had the pleasure yet, be sure that you check out upcoming show dates, because you shouldn’t pass up the chance to hear one of the best pure voices in music.

Unsurprisingly, the tour is just one of the many irons Chris has in the fire right now. He told us that we can expect “a lot” from him in the near future. “Not only the tour, which goes through February, but my second PBS special starts airing in late November or December for Christmas. I’m really happy about that. Martina McBride’s back on with me again, and Mindi Abair again, doing all my favorite holiday songs. That actually will be accompanied by a new Christmas album and new Christmas DVD.

“And I have a new Latin project in Spanish,” he added, “a duet with Paty Cantu. She and I recorded ‘Always On My Mind’ as a duet in Spanish. I was able to go to Mexico City and record that song with her live for her DVD. It might’ve been one of the coolest things I’ve done this year. That will be coming out as well this fall.”

That upcoming Christmas album, Home For Christmas, can already be pre-ordered by clicking here; it releases on October 22. Specific airdates for the new special haven’t been announced yet. If you haven’t seen Chris’s first PBS event, Chris Mann In Concert: A Mann For All Seasons, PBS offers the full show for streaming on its website.

It’s slightly mindblowing to consider the totality of what Chris has accomplished since leaving The Voice. He’s unquestionably enjoyed the most success of anyone who’s appeared there, not only outpacing Season 2 winner Jermaine Paul (who still has yet to release his announced post-show album), but having released more music overall and being the first alumni to have a TV special. His career is one that many singers would be dying to have.

Yet it’s also ridiculously easy to see why he’s become so successful. Chris exemplifies what The Voice was first about: finding a talented, established artist who deserved more. The show didn’t make him; rather, it allowed the rest of us to finally sit up and take notice of how remarkable he is. He has an outstanding voice, but almost more importantly, he demonstrates a clear dedication to his craft and appreciation for everyone who’s made this next chapter possible. He’s as great a human being as he is a performer.

Asked what it’s like to be at this level in his career, “I just feel very lucky,” he reflected. “I’m happy that the music I’m making has allowed me to have really amazing opportunities.” With his combination of vocal ability and class, this should be just the explosive start to a long and prosperous career.

Chris Mann’s album Roads is available now; you can get it on iTunes by clicking here. Be sure to visit his official website for upcoming tour dates, and keep up with his latest by following him on Twitter (@iamchrismann).

(c)2013 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse and Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted. Visit my official website and follow me on Twitter at @tvbrittanyf.

Chris Mann Reveals PBS Special Airdates, Headlining Tour

CR: Jeffry Fasano

CR: Jeffry Fasano

The Chris Mann Experience keeps on rolling. Today, the Team Christina finalist from Season 2 not only announced specific airdates for his Chris Mann In Concert PBS special – but a headlining tour!

Chris Mann In Concert, which was taped last fall in Detroit and has already aired there, will now air nationwide beginning as early as March 2. The special – featuring Martina McBride and Mindi Abair – will then reair throughout the month. Air dates and times depend on your local PBS station, and Chris has helpfully provided a list of all the participating channels and scheduled broadcasts at his website.

He also broke the news that he’ll be heading out on his first headlining tour this spring. Many new tour dates are now posted on Chris’s tour page, and they take him all over the country for…well, pretty much the rest of this year. Ticket info isn’t available for most of the dates yet, so be sure to keep your eye on the page for more updates. Don’t miss your chance to see Chris perform live!

(c)2013 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse and Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.

Countdown to ‘The Voice’ Season 4: What Have You Missed?

The Voice - Season 3We’re just shy of a month from a brand-new season of NBC’s The Voice, and only about two months removed from America crowning Team Blake’s Cassadee Pope the winner of the show’s third cycle. What’s been happening with the show and its artists since Cassadee won the title?

As has been heavily publicized, Season 4 will be the first with new coaches Shakira and Usher, who were introduced in the fall. You can read some of their early thoughts on joining The Voice here. This may also be the only season for the new arrivals, as previous coaches Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green – who are on a break this time around – have expressed interest in returning for Season 5 this fall. However, it’s worth noting that nothing has been finalized yet beyond Season 4.

The guest mentors this year will be Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum (Team Adam), Sheryl Crow (Team Blake), Joel Madden (Team Shakira) and Pharrell Williams (Team Usher).

Season 3 winner Cassadee Pope officially signed her recording deal with Universal and has been hard at work writing and recording ever since, according to her Facebook. Universal released a CD version of her Voice performances here. Cassadee posted a video update on her progress here.

Runner-up Terry McDermott hasn’t slowed down since leaving the show, either. In fact, he recently released a new single “Pictures” via SoundCloud, which he co-wrote with Dave Burman. His performance of “Baby, I Love Your Way” with Peter Frampton from the Voice finale was retroactively released on iTunes here.

Here’s a short list of major developments with other Voice artists, past and present.

Team Adam: Season 3′s Amanda Brown appears on the soundtrack to the recent Universal release Identity Thief, starring Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy. Her teammate Bryan Keith brought some new music to his live show at the Gramercy Theater; you can watch the video here. Season 2′s Pip released his EP No Formalities; you can get it here. Tony Lucca is hard at work on his new album, and performing some new originals on the road, like “Reckless Love.” Kim Yarbrough is preparing for the release of her single “Brand New Day” (here’s a teaser video), guested on CBS’s Vegas, appears in the March 6 episode of TNT’s Southland, and her Nickelodeon project has been ordered to series. Katrina Parker is working on new music of her own after the successful funding of her Kickstarter project. Season 1′s Tim Mahoney released his next CD, Shine Through, which includes his Voice-related tune “Hey Adam Levine.” Casey Weston has a new album on the way; you can pre-order it here and stay tuned for an upcoming interview.

Team Blake: Season 3′s Suzanna Choffel released her new single “Guardians.” Season 2′s winner, Jermaine Paul, postponed the release of his post-show album Finally until sometime later this year; you can pre-order it at Amazon, although there’s no specific street date listed there. Season 2 alum Jordis Unga is in the home stretch of putting together her new album, and also won a Grammy this year for her work on Jimmy Cliff’s Rebirth, which took the trophy for Best Reggae Album. Erin Willett has recently posted a new cover.

Team Cee Lo: Season 3′s MacKenzie Bourg has dropped his debut single. Season 1′s Nakia is releasing his next EP, Drown In The Crimson Tide, and is playing a few tour dates in his home state of Texas. His battle round partner Tje Austin put out his new CD, Dreamin’ Big. Also, Paste Magazine wants to help you make your own Cee Lo Green.

Team Christina: Season 3′s Devyn DeLoera released a music video with Ready Revolution that you can find here, along with several covers on her Facebook page. She has new music coming your way on March 4. The busiest Voice alum by far is Season 2′s Chris Mann, who recently taped Chris Mann in Concert for PBS to be aired in March. Also next month, Chris will be announcing tour dates, one of which is New York’s Highline Ballroom. Lindsey Pavao put out her new single “No Revelation.” Moses Stone released new music; you can find “Beautiful Nightmare” here.

Season 4 of The Voice begins March 25. For the latest on all things related to NBC’s hit singing competition, you can visit Big Red Chairs.

(c)2013 Brittany Frederick. Appears at Starpulse and Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.

Juliet Simms, Chris Mann and Raelynn Are Coming Back to ‘The Voice’

Three artists from Season 2 of The Voice – runner-up Juliet Simms, fourth-place finisher Chris Mann, and Team Blake’s Raelynn – will return to the show to perform their new music on December 11, the network announced via press release on Thursday. The trio are just some of the musical guests that will appear on The Voice as it nears its December 18 season finale.

Simms will perform her new single which was revealed November 20 via SoundCloud, “Wild Child,” while Mann will sing the title track from his recently released album Roads, and Raelynn will perform her new song “Boyfriend.”

The move is somewhat similar to one the network made in Season 2, when all four Season 1 finalists were invited back as guest performers.

Season 2 champion Jermaine Paul previously returned to The Voice earlier this season with his single “I Believe In This Life.” He has since announced via Facebook that the release of his next album has been pushed from December 18 to sometime in 2013.

The other Season 2 finalist, Team Adam’s Tony Lucca, has not been formally announced for a guest appearance. However, he told Big Red Chairs in October that he might return: “I think I’ll be coming out to LA for the finals of Season 3. They’ve got us slated for that,” he said. The press release noted that more guests will be confirmed as the season continues.

The other announced guests are Ne-Yo and Matchbox Twenty (on December 4) and this season’s Team Blake advisor Michael Buble (on December 10). All will be joined by as yet unspecified artists from Season 3 of The Voice for their performances.

Previous musical guests this season have included 50 Cent, Jason Aldean, Rascal Flatts and the Muppets.

The Voice continues Monday at 8 PM ET/PT on NBC.

For more from Brittany Frederick on The Voice, visit Big Red Chairs and follow me on Twitter (@bigredchairs).

(c)2012 Brittany Frederick/Big Red Chairs. Appears at Examiner with permission. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.