Todd Kessler and The New Folk
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Todd Kessler and The New Folk

Chicago, Illinois, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | INDIE

Chicago, Illinois, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Alternative Folk

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"Quick Hit: Todd Kessler and the New Folk review"

Even though Todd Kessler‘s band is called The New Folk, the sound of Sea Fever is closer to the ornate acoustic pop of Andrew Belle and David Mead. Although some might balk at this, this is no qualm with me: I’m a fan of this style when it’s done well. And Kessler does it well, neatly balancing complex arrangements with a vocals-centric focus. At times this leads him into very precise, Andrew Bird-esque territory (“First Sip,” “Intangible”)–especially with the plucked violin that these tunes employ.

Tunes like “Zen Lunatics” and “Holes in the Floor” sit other end of the spectrum, employing crunchy distorted guitars and stomping rhythms. It’s not rock, per se–the theatrical “Holes in the Floor” employs careening, burlesque horns–but it’s certainly not delicate indie-pop either. The most memorable turns come when Kessler splits the difference, toning down some of the more intricate arrangements while also not going full-on pop blast. “Oh Brother” and single “Hallelujah” live in this space, and it’s a good one for him.

Kessler’s pop hooks and arrangements are both very strong, making Sea Fever a release that fans of thoughtful pop music definitely should invest time in. I look forward to seeing what Kessler comes up with next. - Independent Clauses


"TODD KESSLER AND THE NEW FOLK - SEA FEVER"

It's no secret that bands like The Avett Brothers and Mumford & Sons have swung the mainstream spotlight towards our neo-Americana scene. Like so many music trends before this moment, there will have to be one artist who will be the first to translate this genre into something that's palatable for Clearchannel.

And for that task, Todd Kessler just may be our man.

Kessler brings us perfectly crafted folk-pop. Well-known in his native Chicago, he's already garnered attention via a stint on The Voice. His pipes are just a small part of the package, though. Kessler paints luscious soundscapes tempered by his own restraint and his bandmates' tasteful arrangements. Rather than sounding overproduced, Sea Fever is all of the good things about pop music.

If Kessler indeed represents the New Folk, we could do a whole lot worse. I'd gladly listen to mainstream radio if more of it sounded like this.
- Adobe and Teardrops


"TODD KESSLER AND THE NEW FOLK - SEA FEVER"

Lets start this off the right way tonight. Todd Kessler was a contestant on Season 3 of NBC's The Voice, and was harbored under Team Ceelo. Even though I'm totally Team Blake, this guy has provided my ears with some blissful tunes. I was talking with Matt about Todd Kessler and The New Folk, and I described them as having the meaningfulness of Darren Hayes mixed with the sounds of really, really good baroque pop.

Starting from track one, the music immediately hit my soul. From the first words of "Oh Brother", I can feel as if Todd Kessler is really singing for a brother fighting for the Confederacy. The lyrics, the music, the emotion really drew me into the song and I felt like I could see this all happen. It's within the lyrics where the album's strengths truly shine. They create extremely vivid stories.

From that point on, every note, melody, and hook is flawless throughout the entirety of Sea Fever. There are sweet and serene moments, as heard on "Intangible", "Canary In A Coal Mine", and "First Sip", as well as energetic rockers like "My Maker" and "Zen Lunatics". As soon as Sea Fever ended, I couldn't resist the urge to press repeat.

Todd Kessler and The New Folk are definitely something special, and are a unique act that's really worth checking out. I cannot possibly come up with enough nice things to say about this album. The fact there is no link to buy Sea Fever off of Bandcamp is really puttin' a hurt on me. I'm going to get sick with "sea fever" after sailing the internet looking for somewhere to purchase this album. (Update: I just found it on Amazon and iTunes. Didn't have to do as much searching as I had anticipated.)

I sure hope you enjoy this as much as I did. Thanks for reading!

- Joebags
- The Record Stache


"Made in Chicago: Todd Kessler (from NBC's The Voice)"

Put yourself in Todd Kessler's shoes. You're a modestly successful music teacher by day and The New Folk frontman by night. Then, everything changes. Now, you're hanging out in Los Angeles, performing in front of millions of national viewers and getting voice lessons from Cee-Lo.

Well, that's exactly what happened to Kessler. The Chicago-based musician spent this past summer participating as a contestant on NBC's "The Voice" and, after speaking with him last week, it sounds like a dream come true -- even if he had to keep it a secret at first. Kessler's been home in Chicago since the second week of August but the last episode of "The Voice" didn't air until October 15.

"I basically couldn't tell anybody anything right from the get go," he told this writer. "Just to do the blind auditions, I had to sign a contract stating I wouldn't say anything.

As you can probably imagine, Kessler was pained to leave a world of hair and makeup calls and celebrity hangouts to return to filling up his own gas tank. Despite the fact that he wasn't this season's winner, Kessler took away some huge gains from his time on the show.

First, Kessler went from being a local artist to a national sensation. It certainly helped him pick up plenty of new fans both in his hometown and across the U.S. And, as you might expect, participating in a music performance competition really upped Kessler's on stage skills.

"I learned a lot about performing. I thought I was a pro but when you go from playing Schbas to being on stage with 15 cameras pointed at your face it's so different. All of a sudden I was thrust into this huge space that I had to fill."

We're just glad that the West Coast life didn't suck Todd up permanently and that he still chooses to call Chicago home.

If you're used to watching him on the TV screen, now's your chance to check out his Team Cee-Lo-worthy voice live in concert. Todd Kessler and the New Folk will be playing a month-long residency at Uncommon Ground's Lakeview location this month, with all ages shows on January 9, 16, 23 and 30. Each show costs just $5 a ticket. In the meantime, listen to his band's debut album Sea Fever here. - Choose Chicago


"Made in Chicago: Todd Kessler (from NBC's The Voice)"

Put yourself in Todd Kessler's shoes. You're a modestly successful music teacher by day and The New Folk frontman by night. Then, everything changes. Now, you're hanging out in Los Angeles, performing in front of millions of national viewers and getting voice lessons from Cee-Lo.

Well, that's exactly what happened to Kessler. The Chicago-based musician spent this past summer participating as a contestant on NBC's "The Voice" and, after speaking with him last week, it sounds like a dream come true -- even if he had to keep it a secret at first. Kessler's been home in Chicago since the second week of August but the last episode of "The Voice" didn't air until October 15.

"I basically couldn't tell anybody anything right from the get go," he told this writer. "Just to do the blind auditions, I had to sign a contract stating I wouldn't say anything.

As you can probably imagine, Kessler was pained to leave a world of hair and makeup calls and celebrity hangouts to return to filling up his own gas tank. Despite the fact that he wasn't this season's winner, Kessler took away some huge gains from his time on the show.

First, Kessler went from being a local artist to a national sensation. It certainly helped him pick up plenty of new fans both in his hometown and across the U.S. And, as you might expect, participating in a music performance competition really upped Kessler's on stage skills.

"I learned a lot about performing. I thought I was a pro but when you go from playing Schbas to being on stage with 15 cameras pointed at your face it's so different. All of a sudden I was thrust into this huge space that I had to fill."

We're just glad that the West Coast life didn't suck Todd up permanently and that he still chooses to call Chicago home.

If you're used to watching him on the TV screen, now's your chance to check out his Team Cee-Lo-worthy voice live in concert. Todd Kessler and the New Folk will be playing a month-long residency at Uncommon Ground's Lakeview location this month, with all ages shows on January 9, 16, 23 and 30. Each show costs just $5 a ticket. In the meantime, listen to his band's debut album Sea Fever here. - Choose Chicago


"Todd Kessler voices optimism after reality gig"

Todd Kessler voices optimism after reality gig

Unlike most struggling local musicians, singer-songwriter Todd Kessler has managed to make music his day job, as well as his nighttime and weekend pursuit. Earlier this year, the 30-year-old Northbrook native got a brief swing at the big time as a contestant on Season 3 of NBC's popular singing competition show, "The Voice." Kessler
landed a spot on the team helmed by top 40 soul singer Cee Lo Green but was knocked out in early elimination rounds.
Kessler returned home this fall to continue gigging with his large band, The New Folk, and strategizing on how to reap the benefits of his recent exposure to a national audience. His gig this weekend is in advance of a January residency at Uncommon Ground.

Q: Do you get recognized on the street since your appearance on "The Voice"?
A: It's really weird to be recognized. It's really wild.

Q: What do people say to you?
A: "You were robbed." "You were way better than that other guy." "I love your voice; don't stop," which is nice, of course.
Last week, I was at Macy's, and my wife was shopping, and I didn't have anything to do, and there was someone doing free hand massage, and so I went for it. About five minutes into the massage, the woman says, "You were on that show 'The Voice,' weren't you?" It happens in the strangest places.

Q: For someone who is in a DIY business, how was it to be thrust into this medium that is just about the furthest thing from that world and its music?
A: Broadcast television — it's a shock to your system. But then you settle in and get used to it. During the Battle Rounds we were going to be doing on-set filming, and there were maybe 12 of us in this van going from hair, wardrobe and makeup, and I asked, out loud, "Is it weird that this is normal now?"

Q: What was your normal?
A: Just being used to always being told when and where to be, the director telling (you) to do this and that; it's "reality" TV, but it's very — um, focused. You literally go from being a DIY musician to being a character in a TV show. But to be thrust into that environment was pretty validating, as someone who has been struggling for attention in Chicago since 2005. The scene here is very large and competitive.

Q: Is there a part of you that is relieved that you didn't make it to the finals and win?
A: It was a fun ride. I would have loved to have made it to the end. It's an opportunity unlike any other — it's unusual to be isolated and only have this one thing to do. Granted, being away those weeks, I missed the first month — six weeks — of my wife's pregnancy. So it's half and half. I loved the exposure, but I was glad to be coming home when I did.

onthetown@tribune.com
Twitter @chitribent - Chicago Tribune


"TVD Recommends: The New Folk’s two remaining residency dates at Schubas, 8/20 & 8/27"

Every month, Schuba’s Tavern plays host to a Monday night residency program. I’ve
been a big fan of the residency in past months, and August is no different. While
we’re already halfway in, you’ve still got two more chances to catch this month’s
headlining group, The New Folk.
What began in 2005 as a solo project for singer/songwriter Todd Kessler, has evolved
into a full band effort performing under the name The New Folk. In its various forms
over the last seven years, Todd Kessler and the New Folk have released a substantial
amount of music in the form of singles, EPs, and albums, but this month will mark the
official debut release under The New Folk moniker.
Monday 8/27, the last show of the residency, will also act as the album release show for
the debut, Sea Fever. In the works since the summer of 2010, the album is being released
on Kessler’s Wyzguy Records label. You’re going to want to head out to at least one of
the two remaining nights, so get all of the details on the shows below.
In the last couple of years, as Todd Kessler and the New Folk began picking up musicians
to add to their growing sound, they started to solidify the alt-folk-pop sounds that
you can hear all throughout Sea Fever. The album has an inherently gentle tone stitched
into each song that lulls you in and carries you through the album’s twelve carefully
crafted tracks.
- The Vinyl District


"The Voice Blind Auditions Week 2"

Hello KPRC Prime Blog readers—some news! As many of you might have heard, Season
4 of The Voice is gettin' all shook up when Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera both
take temporary leaves of absence in order to pursue their own careers. Xtina’s new album
Lotus will drop November 13th, so she’ll be on tour promoting that, while Cee Lo
seems to have filled his plate with new projects. In a press release about his hiatus from
The Voice, Cee Lo said he was “highly enthusiastic about focusing [his] undivided attention
on [his] additional endeavors and interests like [his] upcoming solo album, new
Goodie Mob album, Las Vegas residency “Loberace”, new memoir, and new NBC comedy.”
Jeez, Cee Lo. Ya slacker. Shakira will man Xtina’s bright red swivel chair for Season
4, while Usher takes the reins for Team Red Zone. I’m foreseeing a distinct lack of cleavage
but a significant boost in midriff-baring. Only time will tell.
But wait—MORE NEWS! In addition to your normal recap, we have an exclusive interview
with Todd Kessler, the “man without the mane” from Team Cee Lo! I’ll give you
the full scoop on Kessler, what he has learned from being on Team Cee Lo, and just
what exactly the whole “mane” thing is about.
But first, a recap.
Collin McLoughlin, the NYC grad school dropout, gave a clean, abundantly pleasant
rendition of Cat Stevens’ “Wild World.” Why someone who wants to be in the music biz
would drop out of his Music Business Masters Program ONE YEAR shy of completion
is a bit beyond me, but hey. Live your dream, man. I’m not sure of he's a staaaah, but he
gave an impressive enough audition to turn 3 chairs and wound up on Team Adam.
We had tiny beltress Joselyn Rivera who was obviously going to wind up on Team Xtina
with the other 8,327,849 tiny beltresses (which she did) and Benji, the ex-race car driver
who was memorable mostly for his screams during his performance of “Knockin’ on
Heaven’s Door.” He went to Team Adam.
Now let’s get to the juice! Todd Kessler is a Chicago native who has been on the music
scene for almost a decade. His indie-folk-acoustic-countryish sound has been heard in
venues all over the Midwest with his band The New Folk, and they released their
newest album, Sea Fever, this past August. I have seen Todd perform in Chicago many
times and have been a fan since day one, so it was extra exciting for me to see his face
up on the small screen! Check out his blind audition along with the auditions of Ben
Taub and Emily Earle:
Todd is your quintessential acoustic musician, usually performing with his trusty guitar.
As you can see from his audition, Todd left the guitar behind this time around.
When I asked Todd about it, he said he wanted to “get out from behind the guitar…
When you have that guitar in front of you, there’s a barrier between you and your audience.”
He talked about wanting to focus more on the vocals, since this show is called
The Voice after all, and that having Cee Lo for a mentor has really helped him with that.
“Working with Cee Lo was very, very eye opening… The most important thing he
taught me was to really connect to the lyrics that you’re singing… Being a good performer
is so much more than just having a good singing voice. You really need to connect
with the story behind the song and really let the audience kind of in on what you’re
feeling.”
And to answer your (read: my) burning question, no, Todd has not seen Lady the Parrot.
Le sigh.
During his interview after the blind audition, Todd mentioned he used to have dreadlocks
down to his butt (it’s true. They were really long), which he cut during the filming
of the music video for the single off his new album, “Hallelujah” (which you should
watch right now because it’s INCREDIBLE.)
Christina Milian dubbed him “the man without the mane,” which Todd has now adopted
as his new tagline not only in social media, but in life, too. I asked him why he cut his
dreads and he said that, having just turned 30, it was time to start a new chapter in his
life. He had actually gotten through the first two rounds of Voice auditions with the
dreads, and then cut them right before the live taping, so the cut itself didn’t really have
much to do with being on the show. But as you can see from Todd's music video, this
was quite the image transformation! We should all have such momentous haircuts.
Well I’m definitely rooting for The Man Without the Mane—go get ‘em, Todd! I know
you'll do your fans proud.
Check back next week for more updates on The Voice.
Thanks for reading, and as always, thanks for watching KPRC Local 2! - KPRC Houston


"A Melodious Journey: Todd Kessler and The New Folk"

Folk music isn’t easily defined or pinned down, in fact it is ever-expanding. It is universal story telling in it’s finest and most memorable form. A melodic method. The all encompassing genre has periodically popped it’s shaggy head into the view of popular culture several times over the last 100 years. Most recently through the vessels of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Iron & Wine, The Decemberists, Band of Horses and so forth. Todd Kessler & The New Folk not only have folk in their name, they exude ‘it’ in the most genuine sense. And their new record Sea Fever is a testament to this. For a town over-run with garage rock, EDM, and attention-defying radio it is refreshing to hear folk emerging from the concrete landscape. The New Folk were kind enough to sit down to discuss their new record, where folk music is heading, and more… Make sure to check them out at Schubas Tavern on August 20th & 27th as they finish up their Practice Space residency. Click here to win tickets!!

Do312: How did this residency come to fruition and why have you selected the artists you have? Also, can you speak to why you are not playing the first two nights of your Schuba’s/Practice Space residency?

TK & TNF: I’ve had the idea to do this residency for almost as long as the album took to make. I had heard a story on the radio about Monday night residencies at rock clubs in LA and immediately knew I wanted to do that at Schubas for the release of “Sea Fever”. The bands I chose to open are a mix of friends and bands that I have been a fan of, but the thing that connects all but maybe one of the bands is Folk and Roots music. All the groups are very different but deep down they all share that. As for why The New Folk could not play the first two nights is not easy to answer. All I can say right now is that I was in Los Angles for about 7 weeks working on a project of which I cannot disclose the details of, but I will be making a big announcement at our CD release on the 27th which will shed a bit more light on the situation.

Do312: Folk has become a mainstay genre over the last few years, why do you think that is and how do you think you fit into the genre?

TK & TNF: Folk has always been around and has always experienced peaks in it’s popularity but I think now it has become so popular because of what people are doing with it. There are countless bands blending Folk with all sorts of genres that is making what’s coming out now so interesting. Also I think the mainstream accessibility of Folk music is due in large part to licensing, hearing catchy acoustic tunes in commercials and TV shows, bringing a whole new audience to the genre. The New Folk fits in to the genre by blending story telling, which is really the main stay of the genre, with sounds and rhythms more familiar to Pop and Alternative, and even World music.



Do312: Where do you think Folk is headed? With it being such a notable genre and really having that lasting impact that it was heralded for in decades past, do you think the American public is seeking out the stories of the genre? And how do you guys as a band create these stories? Are the songs experiences you have had or fictional accounts?

TK & TNF: I think Folk is definitely moving forward, as I said before it is constantly being expanded on in exciting ways. In terms of story telling, which is such a huge part of what gives Folk music its character, I would say yes, the American public is looking for that. What can so often get lost in Pop music is the story and when it comes down to it, the lyric and the emotion being conveyed in a song is what the listener really grabs on to. In The New Folk I write all of the songs and I always am trying to paint a picture in my story telling, using visual references to help guide the listener through. What I write about really ranges but I draw not only from personal experience but also what I see in the world around me. If I am not using a specific event or experience in creating a lyric I will often create a story that still conveys what it is I want to say.

Do312: Who are your influences and why? How are they reflected in The New Folk as supposed to your previous solo material?

TK & TNF: I’ve been describing the sound of “Sea Fever” as a cross between Paul Simon and Mumford and Sons, and although my influences and the influences of my band members vary, those two bands really sum up the sound we were going for. Both Paul Simon and Mumford and Sons are Folk-based groups but there is also a great diversity and genre-bending going on. Paul Simon blends a lot of World Music in his songs while Mumford and Sons use strong beats reminiscent of some Pop and Rock.

Do312: Tell us a little about your debut record… Sea Fever. Why did it take so long to put it out? And how satisfying is it to have it done? Explain.

TK & TNF: Putting this record together was a long process, mostly because I wanted to do it right. I began demoing some of these songs in - www.do312.com


"Folkin' Around:Todd Kessler"

We’ve been through a lot of folk topics and artists with you on the Folkin’ Around column. Some of them are newcomers to OurStage and others are veterans. For a while now, Todd Kessler has been one of my go-to artists when I want a relaxing song with meaningful subject matter. Having won awards on OurStage for both folk and alternative country competitions, I thought it was time to feature him.

His song “Golden Bird” begins with steady acoustic guitar strumming and a straight-forward vocal performance. When the female voice comes in, it’s hard not to be interested. Throughout are conversational melodies between the characters juxtaposed with moments of fulfilling harmony. Add subtle piano accents and you have a piece that has been received with rave reviews. Based in Chicago, Kessler is the front man for Todd Kessler & the New Folk. They have garnered significant regional press coverage drawing comparisons to Bob Dylan and even a melodic reference to Led Zeppelin. The band gigs regularly in the Illinois area, playing several shows this summer. Be sure to check out his profile and stay tuned for news about more shows and perhaps an upcoming release.
- www.ourstage.com


"Todd Kessler - Golden Bird"

With music you know you’ve got something good within 20 seconds of hearing it. Todd Kessler’s song, “Golden Bird” has a Led Zepplin like melody at the beginning – really a classic rock sound with a simple arrangement: handclaps/piano/acoustic guitar and beautiful vocals. Honestly probably the best combination of voices I’ve heard in two months, Todd and Erika Brett (of “Empty Pockets”), come together in a collaboration of ages and present us with a gift in the form of music. Golden Bird is really a wonderfully done song they have perfected the phrase less is more – all the accents are right where they should be, and the mix is exactly right for this type of song. The vocals lay perfectly next to one another. It’s folk music at its finest, tells a lovely story using a woven in metaphor, allusions to flying, jumping and being free – Todd Kessler uses clichés to remind the audience of what they already know – he doesn’t haphazardly throw them into the lyrics because it’s the first thing that came to his mind. You can tell this is a well thought out recording and a well thought out collaboration between two fantastic artists. What would otherwise be a very boring guitar strum comes across as comforting when accompanied by the simple piano chords and small tinkering throughout. Their sound is one that is very very similar to one of my favorite acoustic bands, “The Weepies” and here my only wish is for a little more low-end. Possibly an upright bass, but me thinks an electric bass would work nicely here as well.

If you like folk music and dig on the Coffee House station on Sirius XM radio, then Todd Kessler is your cup o’ joe. Come see him play Golden Bird March 11th at Schuba’s on Belmont and Southport for a relaxing night of lovely music. - Chicago Independent Music Recview


"Todd Kessler "Golden Bird" Release Party"

Last night I went to go see Todd Kessler, and I must say it was a fantastic show. Every now and again you go out not knowing what to expect, and you get blown away. This was one of those times.
A few months ago, I had no idea who Todd Kessler was. I was working on Visionati (this is pre beta) and more focused on code than going out, or being social. When we finally launched the beta, we were admittedly nervous.
Todd happened to be one of the first musicians to sign up for Visionati and uploaded a few tracks. Obviously, in the excitement of the new launch, I listened to them as soon as he posted them to the site and thought they sounded quite good. I figured it was just a matter of time before I could check him out at a real venue.
So, fast forward to last night at Schubas. I showed up there about 8:30PM and saw Todd and his very long dreads sitting behind the merch booth. I walked over and said hello, told him I was from Visionati and that I could wait to hear him play. My friends and I then proceeded to order a bunch of appetizers and wait for his set to begin (around 10PM).
After getting my fill of dip, crab cakes (not recommended), and Delirium Tremens I went to the back room not knowing exactly what to expect.
The show started and the sound was so smooth that everyone (the event was sold out) immediately got into the music. All the musicians were top notch, and their timing was perfect. You could tell that the entire band was playing from the heart, and that their love in life was music, and making people feel good.
Overall I would highly recommend going out to see Todd, this guy is going to go far. - Visionati.com


"Todd Kessler looks back on 'The Voice' with single 'Exactly Where I Should Be'"

While we're enjoying the return of The Voice, we're not the only ones who look back on it fondly. So does Todd Kessler, who charmed us as a member of Team Cee Lo during the hit NBC show's third season, and is now putting his experience into music with the new single "Exactly Where I Should Be." We connected with Todd last week to talk about the new single, plans for his band The New Folk (pictured above with Todd at center), and the next song you can expect to hear from him.

Todd Kessler, pictured center with his band The New Folk, was a contestant on season three of NBC's 'The Voice'.
Todd Kessler, pictured center with his band The New Folk, was a contestant on season three of NBC's 'The Voice'.
Cory DeWald/Courtesy of Novo PR
"I wrote the song quite a while ago. It was shortly after my son was born, which at this point was over a year and a half ago," he explained. "I was just kind of thinking about the year that had preceded where I was, with the show and everything like that and just preparing to start a new phase of life, having a child, and just thinking about how really lucky I am to do what I do and be able to make a living at it. Kind of thinking back on where I started and where I was, and just being so thankful.

"Getting it all into a four minute song, it's hard because you want to tell the story, but you want to make it for lack of a better word simple enough and kind of impersonal enough so the listener can kind of latch onto that story as their own," he continued. "I was really focusing on just the idea that, do what you love and the rest will kind of work itself out."

Things have certainly worked out for Todd, the underrated singer-songwriter who left The Voice after being defeated by eventual finalist Nicholas David, but not before the two teamed up for an amazing battle-round performance of "She's Gone" by Hall and Oates. Since the end of the show, his profile has continued to rise. There's a music video that goes with the new single, and The New Folk have been steadily giggling across the country. "We're kind of slowing down a little bit," Todd told us. "We're going back to the studio to finish a new album."

He's also got solo plans, too. "I'm going to be releasing a Christmas song this year," he revealed. "It's a version of 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas' that I've been working on for a few years. I actually played it when I opened for [fellow season 3 alum] Melanie Martinez in Chicago. I'm going to release a studio version of that."

Even the B-side to the new single, a cover of Elton John's "Your Song," has a connection to The Voice. "They [the producers] gave me that song," Todd reflected. "Before the blind [auditions], when I was out there for the callbacks in Los Angeles, they said we'd like you to prepare these songs, and 'Your Song' was one of them.

"It's a song I'd played for years, but I kind of played it just like the original recording, and I said this was an opportunity for me to make this song my own. I sat in my hotel room and I came up with this arrangement for the song."

So although Voice audiences didn't get to hear it, we can now finally enjoy his great take on a classic tune. It only reinforces that while his exit was completely understandable, he's still one of the artists who left that stage too soon.

As much as the spotlight has shone on him as a solo artist, Todd gives plenty of credit to his band The New Folk, who have been together for seven years and counting. What's the key to their longevity? "We're friends," he ruminated. "And we didn't start as friends. When I first formed the beginnings of this band back in 2007, I wasn't really friends with these people yet. I used other people I knew to kind of put the band together.

"So our friendships, it's really become like a family. We've just kind of created these relationships through music over the last seven years. We support each other, we love each other, we get annoyed with each other, we lift each other up however we can."

Even four seasons and three years after he was part of Team Cee Lo, Todd told us he's still fielding questions about his time on The Voice. "All the time," he enthused, and he's got no problem with that. "I love it. People are like, I'm sure you hate getting that. And I don't hate getting that. You're asking me to talk about a time in my life that was really fun."

You can download Todd Kessler and the New Folk's new single, "Exactly Where I Should Be," here. You can also keep up with Todd and the band on their official website (thenewfolk.net) and via Todd's Twitter (@ToddKessler). - Examiner


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

"Kessler brings us perfectly crafted folk-pop."
- Adobe and Teardrops"

“[Similar to bands such as] Edward Sharpe
and The Magnestic Zeros, Iron and Wine,
The Decemberists, [and] Band of
Horses...Todd Kessler and The New Folk not
only have folk in their name, they exude ‘it’
in the most genuine sense.” - Do312

“The album [Sea Fever] has an inherently
gentle tone stitched
into each song that lulls you in and carries
you through the album’s twelve carefully
crafted tracks. - The Vinyl District

The upper, upper echelon of male vocalists,
[Kessler] could have a record deal
tomorrow.” - Blake Shelton

Todd Kessler, Season 3 contestant and member of Team Ceelo on NBC’s hit show, The Voice, started working his way through the Chicago music scene in 2005 getting his hands on every open mic he could.  He was soon headlining shows at Chicago’s best venues (Lincoln Hall, Millennium Park, SPACE, and Schubas), gaining fans and praise with his powerful voice and poignant storytelling.

In 2010 Kessler, with his band The New Folk, entered the studio to record his fifth release and emerged eighteen months later with Sea Fever, an album that has garnered them critical acclaim in publications and blogs across the country. Debuting their “Alternative/Folk/Pop” sound in August 2012, Todd Kessler and The New Folk celebrated the release of Sea Fever with a summer residency at the famed Schubas Tavern in Chicago  and began touring in support of the album with a run of shows in Austin, Texas during SXSW, and an appearance at Summerfest in Milwaukee.  Since then, The New Folk have played throughout the Midwest and will release their new single, "Exactly Where I Should Be" in August 2014.

Band Members