One day last month, I was flipping through channels looking for something to settle on while crocheting on the couch. The next thing I remember was absentmindedly stopping on a station when I saw Cee Lo Green petting a furry, white kitty cat. As I went about my crocheting, I left it on and it took me several minutes before I turned my attention to the television to take notice of what I was watching. It was “The Voice,” a show which I’d heard of but never seen. It didn’t take long before I became swept up in the ridiculous banter between pop stars (that’s code for “Christina Aguilera’s sweater puppies”) and found myself invested in some of the people singing on stage. That is the story of how I inadvertently became a fan of “The Voice.”
This was during a phase in the show called the “Blind Auditions,” where the four judges select singers to be on their teams based only on the sound of their voice, with their chairs turned toward the audience instead of the performers. There were a lot of singers I liked, and a lot that I didn’t. Most of the ones I didn’t like, the judges seemed to not like either, which was pretty cool. Some stood out more than others, such as Jamie Lono, a sweet blonde sandwich-maker from Chicago who put his own little spin on Johnny Cash’s classic “Folsom Prison Blues.”
I don’t usually go for blondes, but this Chi-town cutie pie laid on the charm, and I fell for it. Unfortunately, when “The Voice” reached its “Battle Rounds” phase, Lono was pitted against the vocally adept Jamar Rogers in a performance of Foreigner’s “I Wanna Know What Love Is,” and the poor boy didn’t even have a chance. Lono is adorable and there’s no doubt he’s got talent, but he doesn’t have the kind of voice that’s gonna win a singing competition. He does, however, have the kind of voice that can breed a music career.
He may have been eliminated from “The Voice,” but Lono’s not going away. I was happy to discover he’s now set up a Kickstarter campaign to get his first album off the ground. His Facebook page lists some very fitting influences such as Ray LaMontagne and Allen Stone, as well as Johnny Cash, Jack Johnson, Stevie Wonder and Sam Cooke. So I think we can have a pretty good idea of what that album will have in store. If it’s the kind of thing you’re into, or you just love supporting a musician with a dream, drop a few bucks in Lono’s cyber-pocket and help make his dream come true.