Q&A with Todd Lewis Kramer: New York’s Americana Troubadour

Todd Lewis Kramer is giving classic Americana a fresh face. Armed with a knack for penning immediately and deeply relatable lyrics that don’t shy away from the simplicity of human nature, Kramer is poised to set the countryside on fire May 18 with his upcoming album Fairground.

I will readily admit that I’m the first person to overanalyze a situation. If you look for intricacies you can almost always find them, but more often than not the answer is hidden in plain sight. Sometimes the answer really is as obvious as “I Want Your Love.” Don’t believe me? Just give his single a spin.

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Perched on the precipice of a surefire success, Kramer was nice enough to let us pick his brain for a few minutes.


 

MC: What first drew you to music?

Todd: Well, I grew up in a house of music fans – my earliest memories of listening are from long family car rides just going back and forth between James Taylor and Beatles records and other oldies. So that was sort of my introduction to music, and then from there I just was drawn to songs with what I thought were great melodies. I’ve always been a fan of the “singer-songwriter-y” stuff, and eventually, I just decided to see if I could do it myself.

MC: If you could describe the NY music scene in one sentence, what would it be?

Todd: It can be great and it can be overwhelming, but if you realize you’re doing your thing among the most talented people in the world’s best city and are able to see the positivity in that, you’ll be just fine.

MC: What is the first thing you do when sitting down to write a song?

Todd: Usually, a song starts with me and my guitar and a bunch of strumming and humming until I find a melody or a hook that I like. But the songwriting process varies based on a lot of things – sometimes it starts with me awkwardly humming a melody into my Voice Memos app on the L train.

MC: Your upcoming debut album is called “Fairground,” how did you settle on that title?

Todd: We spent a good while putting this record together (nearly two years) and I just kept putting off giving the album a name. Once I finally had to think about what to call it, I considered some of the song titles, considered self-titling it, and nothing was really clicking. And then in a moment of reflection, ‘Fairground’ came to mind. Fairground is the name of the street I grew up on, and to me, it sums up the whole vibe of the album. Immediately I knew it had to be the title.

MC: If you could co-write a song with anyone, who would it be?

Todd: Hmmmmm, that’s a tough one. I’ll go the acoustic sem-cliché route and say Ryan Adams. Guy is a beast.

MC: What’s your next step?

Todd: Well, I’ll be writing and working on new stuff and getting back into the studio soon enough, which I’m super excited about. But in the meantime, I’ll be playing shows in and around New York City – and hopefully in more parts of the country – in support of the record this summer and fall. So track me down and say what’s up!