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.

Backstage Blog: September 18, 2012 – Two for the Road

Backstage Blog: I’ve just come back from almost two whole days on the road in Los Angeles, covering two fantastic concerts put on by alumni from The Voice, and while I’m exhausted, it reminded me yet again that I have the best job that I could ask for. The only way I could have more fun in my life is, maybe, if Adam Levine called me up and asked me to join Maroon 5 on tour.

I want to say a huge, heartfelt thank you to Season 2’s Lindsey Pavao, Pip and Karla Davis, who played The Mint on Monday (where the above picture comes from), and Season 1’s Rebecca Loebe, who was at Hotel Cafe tonight, for putting on wonderful shows and spending time with me besides. It’s nights like these that are the best part of what I do. When an artist from The Voice invites me out to their concert, or offers to do a follow-up interview, it’s a huge compliment. It means I’ve made friendships that are still here well after the show’s moved on. And I would say of the true, close friends that I count in my life, most of them are from The Voice.

I’ve never been that popular, so it’s a pretty awesome feeling when I walk into a room having anything to do with the show and get greeted by name. Or, as in the case of Monday, show up for a concert and realize there are a half-dozen people there that know me from Twitter. Tonight, Rebecca made a reference to me onstage, which made me geek out a bit. That’s never happened before. I know that when I’m with my Voice friends, I’m wanted there.

One of my favorite stories from The Voice comes from Season 2, and the very first interview I did with Karla. I had the habit of introducing myself to all the artists by mentioning my Twitter handle (@bigredchairs), so that they’d know we’d talked before and I wasn’t a complete stranger. Karla got super-excited and mentioned to me that the artists all talked about me. My jaw dropped and I got choked up for a second, because it threw me that these talented, amazing folks would be speaking about me. That was the moment the lightbulb came on over my head and I realized that I was doing something that was actually important to people. The artists I’ve met through the show have been just as supportive of me as I’ve tried to be of them.

That extends to the Voice fans as well; all the folks I’ve interacted with are the sweetest and most supportive fans, not just of the artists but of each other, too. Half the fun of Monday night was showing up alone and fitting right in like I’d come with a half-dozen buddies. (I’ve got to tip my hat again to Haley and Cara, who shared their table with me.) It’s been really neat to realize that I have fans, and fans who don’t just read me, but ask about me, too.

Big Red Chairs is a labor of love; while I write about The Voice for a number of media outlets, I don’t get paid for probably two-thirds of what you see on this site. Anything that happens outside of the show – concerts, album reviews, follow-up interviews – is on my own time and any expenses are out of my own pocket. That’s made quite a few people look at me like I’m crazy. Yet honestly, when it means I get to spend time with my friends, write about their accomplishments, and know that I’ve got plenty of fans behind me? It’d be crazy not to be a part of all this.

This blog reminds me of a fabulous Justin Hopkins video, so I’ll just sum it up by letting you watch the vid.

Until next time, never be afraid to find your voice,

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