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.

‘The Voice’ Artists Taking California Before Season 5 Premiere

The Voice

The Voice coach Cee Lo Green has reunited with Goodie Mob, and the group is bringing their “Age Against The Machine” tour to Los Angeles’ House of Blues tonight, and San Francisco Thursday. But the pet-loving singer isn’t the only performer from the hit NBC series to be visiting the Golden State right now. Fans who are eagerly awaiting The Voice‘s September 23 premiere can also see a number of their favorite artists live over the next two months.

There are three venues that are Voice friendly, with several singers on their calendar. The first is one of Los Angeles’s best music venues, Hotel Cafe. It plays host to Season 1 runner-up Dia Frampton for three shows on September 6, 9 and 16. Season 2 semifinalist Katrina Parker is hosting a release show for her upcoming album In and Out of the Dark there on September 10. Season 2′s Jamar Rogers is scheduled to appear on September 27.

Lestat’s Coffee House in San Diego is home to Rebecca Loebe from Season 1 on September 5, and Season 2′s Charlotte Sometimes will visit there on September 22.

Up north is San Francisco’s Hotel Utah, where Rebecca Loebe will perform on September 10, followed by Charlotte Sometimes on September 17.

There are also a variety of other cities playing host to Voice artists in the near future. Season 3 winner Cassadee Pope will be performing two dates in Southern California, at Chula Vista’s Sleep Train Ampitheatre on September 13 and then Irvine’s Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre on September 14. “11,” the latest single from her upcoming album Frame by Frame, was released on Tuesday.

August 31 sees Orlando Napier in Studio City and Jamar Rogers in Los Angeles. On September 6, Napier plays Santa Barbara. Rebecca Loebe will be in Altadena on September 8. September 12, Season 1 duo Elenowen performs at Los Angeles’ Bootleg Theater, a great and relatively undiscovered venue that’s hosted live music and exceptional plays for years. They then move to Santa Ana on September 13.

September 14, it’s Napier in Laguna Beach, Season 2′s Lee Koch in Temecula, and Elenowen in San Francisco. September 15 sees Season 2′s Nakia in Pioneertown, Season 2′s Whitney Myer in Bakersfield with her Whitney Myer Band, and Elenowen in Redding. Nakia appears in Mill Valley, CA on September 16, with Charlotte Sometimes arriving there on September 18. On September 19, Nakia plays in Sacramento. September 20, while Orlando Napier is at The Biltmore in Santa Barbara, Charlotte Sometimes visits San Luis Obispo.

It all leads up to when The Voice returns to the airwaves on Monday, September 23, with Green and Christina Aguilera returning to the series alongside coaches Adam Levine and Blake Shelton.

You can find more information about every The Voice artist’s upcoming performances through September by visiting the concert calendar at Big Red Chairs.

(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: Katrina Parker

katrinaKatrina Parker is ready to spread her wings and fly. After making it to the semifinals of season two of The Voice, the soulful singer took the next year-plus to craft the perfect follow-up. Now that extra deliberation is on the verge of paying off, as she’s preparing for the release of her new album, In and Out of the Dark. Katrina recently took some time to sit down with BFTV to dish on the upcoming record, and what she’s learned about herself since she surprised America.

“I really took my time with this record. I spent months writing it, and then I spent months funding it, and picking out the right producers and the right kind of musical aesthetic,” she explained. “But I don’t feel pressure. More than anything I want it to be amazing. And I really do kind of want to step out from [the show]. As much as I love The Voice, this is the next part of my career.”

It’s been a long process from creating music to record release for Katrina, who launched a successful Kickstarter at the beginning of the year before heading into the studio. She called the whole experience “really surreal. We did the fan funding back in January; it got fully funded in mid February. We had a lot of pre-production. It was a lot of chasing schedules and coordinating. We spent a lot of time thinking about what we wanted to do on the songs. And then we crammed all the recording into like one or two months. But it’s been really incredible. It became clear to me that everything I wanted to communicate is on this record.”

What can fans expect from the album? “There’s going to be a lot of variety on it,” she revealed. “There’s going to be some radio-friendly singles. There’s going to be some ballads, of course. And there’s going to be a couple of indie rock tunes. But I think the thing that’s going to hold it all together is going to be the fact that it’s me, and my heart is in each and every song.”

“I think one thing that you maybe didn’t see on The Voice is that my music has a more powerful aesthetic,” she explained. “What you didn’t get to see is me being really powerful, and i think you get a lot of that on this record. i’m a tougher, stronger, more powerful person. I think it’s a natural next step.”

Part of that newfound strength comes from Katrina’s experience on The Voice, where she emerged as a surprise contender and made it through to the semifinals before coach Adam Levine opted to move forward with eventual third-place finisher Tony Lucca instead of her.  While some fans are still up in arms about her dismissal, she reiterated that she has no hard feelings toward her coach or anyone else involved with the series.

“The show changed my life. It’s made it possible for me to do music as a career,” she reflected, adding that she doesn’t feel any need to return, as other artists have done in the past. “I don’t think I need to go back onto that stage. I love The Voice and I feel like they already did so much for me. My to-do list is more about moving forward.”

That includes taking responsibility for steering her career now that The Voice is well in the past. Katrina knows that reality TV doesn’t create overnight superstars, and there’s only so long you can ride the wave of national attention before you have to stand on your own. She told us, “You have to work hard, you have to be scrappy, and you have to get as much out of the experience as you can, whether you were Top 48 or Top 8.”

Now Katrina is focusing on the launch of her new album. This past weekend she joined fellow Team Adam alumnus Judith Hill for a concert at Universal CityWalk Hollywood’s 5 Towers. There’s a CD release party scheduled at the Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles, and she’s hoping to tour, provided that the logistics can be worked out. She knows that this is a big moment for her, one that can change the course of her career again, and she’s intent on not wasting it.

“I think the biggest goal for myself is to really get as much out of it as I can,” she said. “I really do want to pitch a lot of it to film and TV. The success will be if in six months I’ll still doing music full time and I’m still promoting this record because it has legs. Then I’ll know that for me it was a success.

“I have very high hopes for it. I am happy with it,” she continued. “This was clearly in my control. I worked with the people I wanted to work with. I did what I wanted to do.”

Katrina Parker’s album In and Out of the Dark releases on September 10; it can be pre-ordered through iTunes here. You can also keep up with Katrina by visiting her website (katrinaparker.com) or following her on Twitter (@katrinapmusic).

(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.

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.

Concerts: Karla Davis, Pip and Lindsey Pavao at The Mint; Rebecca Loebe at Hotel Cafe

As you might have seen in my most recent Backstage Blog, I had the chance to catch four different The Voice artists over two nights in Los Angeles this week. On Monday night, Season 2′s Karla Davis and Pip from Team Adam joined Team Christina’s Lindsey Pavao at The Mint. What followed was a fairly informal, hilarious and heartwarming show that included quality tunes, good-natured flubs and talk about condiments.

This was a chance for Voice fans to hear all three artists’ original music, and also to chat with them, as they paused the show midway through the evening to take questions. They couldn’t have been more affable or relaxed, freely willing to admit when they didn’t entirely know a song they were trying to play, or to laugh when they messed one up – Lindsey has now introduced the phrase “I’ll be your plastic” into the Voice fan lexicon. As much as I enjoyed the music, it was equally as entertaining just to watch these three play off each other.

Karla played several songs off her new album 360 and Pip performed his new single “Who Cares,” the first time he’d ever done so live. They also performed some covers: Karla did Adam Levine proud with her versions of “Moves Like Jagger” and “Payphone,” Pip sung John Mayer’s “Why Georgia,” and Lindsey put a whole new spin on David Guetta’s “Titanium.”

If that wasn’t enough for you, fellow alum Katrina Parker and current Team Cee Lo member Daniel Rosa were in attendance, and both were cajoled into coming on stage to perform. Katrina gave us a fantastic rendition of her live-show hit “Killing Me Softly,” while Daniel joined Lindsey on “Somebody That I Used to Know.” Between the Voice alumni onstage and the fans in the audience, this was one big family gathering that I’m glad to have been a part of.

For my photos from The Mint, click here to visit the concert album on the Big Red Chairs Facebook page.

On Tuesday, Season 1′s Rebecca Loebe celebrated the release of her new album Circus Heart. (You can download the album right here on iTunes.) While it was a treat to hear her perform the song that earned her a spot on Team Adam – Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” – the night was devoted to her original material, and between great music and her winning personality, Rebecca put on a more entertaining show by herself than some entire bands. If your only exposure to her is from The Voice, you haven’t seen an eighth of how talented she is.

You get a real sense of Rebecca when you’re at one of her shows. Not only did I enjoy hearing her play one of my favorite songs from the album, “The Chicago Kid”, but I loved hearing the story that led to her writing the song. I enjoyed her anecdotes about her career and how she came to be on The Voice (I laughed out loud when she talked about performing for “celebrity furniture”). And I got surprisingly choked up when she performed “Georgia”.

What I appreciate most about Rebecca is that she’s so genuine; the woman I had coffee with before the show was the same one on stage. A little over a year ago, it was spending time with Rebecca and the other artists from Season 1 that opened my eyes to what music can do. Watching her play on Tuesday night, I felt that same sense of wonder all over again.

Last month, Rebecca chatted with me about Circus Heart and her career after The Voice. “I’m really excited to release a new album,” she said. “I’m really grateful to the fans that supported me. I was just really floored by how many people all over the world participated in it. It’s really moving.” You can read the full interview with Rebecca by clicking here.

For my photos from Hotel Cafe, click here to visit the concert album on the Big Red Chairs Facebook page. And for other future tour dates from your favorite The Voice artists, pop on over to the Concert Calendar.

(c)2012 Brittany Frederick/Big Red Chairs. Exclusive to Big Red Chairs. No reproduction permitted. All rights reserved.