When Caroline Glaser told instructors at University of Kansas that she needed to take some time off — that she had this great opportunity out in California — they were skeptical.
"All my professors were like, you are so dumb," says the 19-year-old Missouri native. Of course, she couldn't tell them she was going to California to audition for NBC's talent show "The Voice," though they would find out when Glaser became a fan favorite on season four of the show.
Adam Levine said her voice was "ethereal, magic and wonderful."
Usher renamed himself "Gusher" for all the good things he had to say.
While Glaser didn't take home the big prize, she is one of several contestants (such as Chris Mann) to parlay an appearance on the show into a full-fledged career.
For Glaser that means a just-released three-song EP and a spot opening for the a cappella group Straight No Chaser on its "Under the Influence" tour, which stops in Fresno Sunday at the Saroyan Theatre.
Before "The Voice," Glaser's musical career consisted of uploading videos to YouTube and playing the open mic night at the coffee shop in her hometown, which she did every Thursday for a year. When her first single hit the iTunes charts, she found out from the other contestants on the show.
"I didn't even know how to check the charts," she says. "It was a massive transition for me."
Being on tour and playing for thousands of people every night offers its own kind of learning curve. It's not live television, which can be terrifying, she says, but she's having to entertain people between the songs. She's learning to put on her own show.
"I have to show people who I am. In four songs," she says.
Her infatuation with writing music lead to "Vol. 1," a three-song EP that she's been working on since "The Voice." The album is the beginning of a series of short, two- or three-song releases she hopes to do over the next year.
Though the schedule of tour life doesn't always make time for songwriting, Glaser is eager to get back into the studio in 2014.
"More experience means more to write about," she says. "I'm still working on who I am musically."
Fall into a KhoMha
9 p.m. Saturday / Fulton 55, 875 Divisadero St. / $20-$25 / (559) 412-7400, www.fulton55.com
Coldharbour Recordings artist KhoMha (pronounced coma) returns to Fulton 55 for a night of electronic dance music, EDM for short. The 21-year-old Colombian is fairly new to the EDM scene, but he is already known for dexterous deck performances, intuitive track selection and mixing sophistication far beyond his years. KhoMha last played Fulton 55 in August.
Bad Boys Zydeco
7:30 p.m. Saturday / Frank's Place, 1432 Fulton St. / $8- $10 / 264-2848, www.warnors.org
Evo Bluestein's Bad Boys Zydeco band has been described as "more original than most of the current crop of zydeco groups from Louisiana." That makes sense given that the Fresno musician learned from Cajun zydeco masters like John Delafose. The band hosts a Cajun potluck concert Saturday at Frank's Place. Potluck and dance lessons start at 6 p.m. The music starts at 7:30 p.m.SHOW INFO
Singer-songwriter Caroline Glaser opens for Straight No Chaser's "Under the Influence" tour, which plays 7 p.m. Sunday at the Saroyan Theatre, 730 M St. Tickets are $29.50-$59.50. Details: (559) 445-8200, www.ticketmaster.com
This reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6479, email@example.com or @joshuatehee on Twitter and Instagram. Read his blog at fresnobeehive.com.