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  • Words could make wishes come true

    One of the highlights of Bo’s run on American Idol was his sincere and lovely version of Time In A Bottle.

    We all know that the performance led to a friendship between Bo and the Croce family, but we didn’t know how it all started. Until now.

    Bo Bice wanted to perform Jim Croce’s “Time in a Bottle,” but music supervisor Susan Slamer wasn’t sure she could get permission. When the song cleared she called Croce’s widow, Ingrid, to thank her. Ingrid said she was going to say no, but her son A.J. was a fan of Bo’s. When Slamer said that Bo was a fan of her late husband, Ingrid asked to speak to Bo.

    Bice was rehearsing on stage when Slamer handed him her cell phone and told him to place a call to a certain number. As the phone rang, Slamer told him the woman about to answer was Jim Croce’s widow. Bo started talking and the rest of the top 11 could see tears streaming down his face. They rushed over to see if he was all right. “Everything’s great,” Slamer assured them. “When Bo hung up, he said it was the most amazing moment of his life.”

    Altogether now – awww. Yet another reason that Bo has never been anything but grateful for his AI experience.

  • Chameleon

    It’s been a while since we’ve seen any official reviews of Bo shows, so what a treat to see two of them this morning. The Central Virginian took in a solo show last week and was charmed by folksy, highly personal Bo:

    The long brown locks may be gone, but the voice that made him one of American Idol’s most popular contestants still remains. […]

    “I like doing this type of show because it’s very much where I came from,” Bice said. “It’s more of an intimate engagement. It’s for the listeners. I get to tell stories of my songs and how I wrote them.”

    It was a format that Bice followed the entire night, with his original songs serving as a glimpse into his own personal path in life. He played “Used To Be Me,” a ballad he wrote for a struggling friend. Other songs, such as “Glory, Hallelujah” from his latest album, “New Soul Revival,” dealt with Bice’s own spiritual and emotional journey since the conclusion of his time on American Idol.

    Just a few days later though, the Allentown Morning Call was quite impressed by how deeply Bo immersed himself into the culture of Blood, Sweat and Tears:

    Perhaps the biggest surprise in the concert Wednesday that had “American Idol” runner-up Bo Bice fronting seminal jazz-rock group Blood, Sweat & Tears at Musikfest Cafet at ArtsQuest Center in Bethlehem was how much Bice suppressed his personality to make his integration into the group seamless. […]

    Instead, he ably assumed the role of the group’s singer, sounding a lot like its classic vocalist David Clayton-Thomas, to whom he was compared on “Idol,” in a 90-minute, 16-song set. That was a good thing. Bice only occasionally crossed over into imitation – far more often sounding inspired but having his own vibe.

    He established his chops immediately , brassy and soulful, on the opening “Got to Get You Into My Life,” the Beatles cover with which Blood Sweat & Tears had a minor hit in 1975. The band also established its chops, as trumpet player Carl Fischer came front and center for a solo.

    When it comes down to it, it’s voice and horns that make Blood, Sweat & Tears, and the lineup had both with Bice and a four-man horn section among its nine members.

    I’m not one of those who think Bo can sing anything, even the phone book (I hate that phrase!), but there’s no doubt he’s the kind of musician who can make himself at home in all sorts of situations. It must be so much fun for him to mix up his performances up like this.

  • Tweet talk

    Did you catch Bo’s twitter party for AI this afternoon? It was a fun conversation, mostly because I get a goofy thrill doing these long-distance, real-time things with Bo. Cellcerts, stageits, twitter, all of it. “OMG – Bo and I are using our thumbs at the same time. We are soulmates!1!1!!” Yep, I am just that easy.

    Bo didn’t spill any secrets, except to say he’s given up mechanical bull riding. The good news: his upcoming southern gospel album is “groovy spiritual.” Hmmm. The bad news: no release date has been set.

    Read all the rest over the story over on Bo’s twitter feed .

    There’s also a new interview with Bo posted today at Access Atlanta. Bo opens up a bit about rehab…

    Under the influence (Heineken was the standard though he did love whiskey), “I tend to sometimes act like an idiot,” he said. At age 36 at the time, he said it was time for him to grow up.

    “Being a dad and a husband and trying to keep alive in the music business is enough of a challenge,” he said. “I didn’t need to be drunk.”

    “I don’t think I was doing the best I could do with my career or my music,” he added. “Those things start to suffer. Or family starts to suffer. I wasn’t living up to my full potential.”

    And he has some reassuring words for fans worried about his recent move and musical intentions…

    But leaving Nashville doesn’t mean he’s divesting himself from his career as a rock musician.

    “I’ve got so many friends and contacts there,” he said. “We still have a house there we’ve leased out for a couple of years. I run my business out of there. I feel I’m more productive when I’m in Nashville. I’m there to work, to write songs.”

    Keep on saying no to lip-synching, Bo. But say yes to twitter.

  • Of all time!

    The third certain thing in life is that the start of American Idol competition will spawn another round of rankings: Which idol is the fairest of them all? Most people really don’t take these things seriously – we all know success is subjective yadda yadda yadda. But the fan warring these lists trigger is still enough to make me want to throw my internet out the window. So normally I’d ignore Billboard’s latest, but since Bo’s giving me nothing to blog about lately, what the hey:

    American Idol’s All-Time Top 24

    As “American Idol” season 11 moves forward with its Top 24 (well, technically 25) contestants this week, we examine which contestants have had the greatest post-“Idol” success out in the wider waters of the music industry. This “Idol” Top 24 list is based on chart performance on the Billboard 200 and Hot 100 charts (through the Jan 21 issue date), using a weighted formula equally blending album sales (according to Nielsen SoundScan) with points generated by the radio airplay, track download sales and streaming plays that make up the Hot 100.

    18 Bo Bice
    Album Sales: 755,000
    Track Sales: 545,000
    Radio Plays: 127,000
    YouTube Plays: 110,424

    The long-haired runner-up to Carrie Underwood has released three albums since leaving “Idol,” with 2006 single “The Real Thing” a modest hit. His most recent album, “3,” featured fifth season finalist Melinda Doolittle on one track. In October, Bice became the first celebrity contestant to win the grand prize on “Don’t Forget the Lyrics,” earning $50,000 for his charity, MusiCares.

    You know, #18 is not too shabby. Despite working without the clout and cash of a major label for the last 6 years, Bo’s numbers have held up pretty well. You go, Bo.

  • Bo to livestream concert

    What a great idea!

    Bo Bice will perform a special live concert from his own studio on October 13th, exclusively broadcast on Justin.tv (www.justin.tv/bobice) at 5:00pm PST / 7:00pm CST / 8:00pm EST. Not just a concert, the event gives fans the unprecedented opportunity to interact directly with Bo, where they can request favorite songs, ask him questions and chat with the charismatic musician. Fans can also submit questions in advance via Justin.TV (www.justin.tv/bobice) to be answered during the show. Several will be selected to receive special prizes including copies of 3, autographed memorabilia and other exciting items. The performance will include selections from his latest album, 3, and a special version of his radio hit “You Take Yourself With You.”

    Justin.tv is a website that broadcasts live video streams. If you watched Bo’s stickam chats or the ustream songwriting session with Billy Dean the other day, you get the idea. You don’t need an account with the site to watch a channel but you do need to sign up in order to chat. You might want to wander over and get familiar with the setup before the show.

    I’m already thinking about which song to request, and making a list of the inevitable questions that will make me puff up like an indignant turkey. (The Kid. Anything about American Idol, his hair, his beard, or the meaning of 3.) How about you? What do and don’t you want to hear from Bo next week?

    What a great idea! Did I say that already?

  • Cover Bo

    There’s a nice article about Bo and his health in the latest ‘issue’ of Body and More. This isn’t an actual magazine, but a collection of stories that newspapers, magazines, and trade publications can buy to insert into their own publications. So don’t look for this in your grocery aisle. It’s a pleasant little read anyway, and Bo sure looks good and healthy, doesn’t he?

    He drank way too much and didn’t take care of his health. Add in the fact that Bice suffered from intussusception, an intestinal condition he’s had since birth that worsens under stress, and Bice was on a collision course. “I knew liquor wasn’t good for the body, but I liked it.”

    This philanthropic, spiritual man is a far cry from the party boy who was once arrested for cocaine and marijuana possessions (charges were dropped) and who has been in and out of hospitals. His doctors have given him a clean bill of health, his career is once again going in the right direction and he’s a happy husband and dad. So if you ever see him eating pizza, let him enjoy it.

  • Odds and ends

    This weekend is the eye of the storm for Bo and his fans. He’s just finished a hectic month of album promotion and AI action, and next week he’s jumping into the CMA Fest with both feet. While he takes a deep breath, here’s a few gems you may have overlooked in all the uproar.

    In an interview on the Larry King Live Blog , Bo is pretty forthcoming about the music snobs he’s run into:

    …because every year I get to go back to the finale and just like to see my friends. I mean there’s some people that kind of run from that. I’ve had so many people talk about me and my ego. Everything from a sell-out to a has been or ‘never was’ I’ve been called.

    And I’ll tell you something, when people ask advice for this business I say have thick skin and I say work hard. Practice all the time. It’s just people being critical. But I think at the same time when you love what you do you really enjoy it and you put your best foot forward and you’re proud of the product you’re putting out – that’s what “Idol” has been for me.

    People can bash it and they can bash people from it. I see people bash it and bash it and bash it and then they go on and perform. I love those hypocrites because at least I stand firm in the fact that I’ve always loved that show. I love what it’s given me. I’ll never turn my back on the show because they provided a career for me. I’m really proud to be a part of its alumni. That’s why I continue to keep up with the show.

    Here, he tells LimeWire that his family isn’t impressed with that crazy rock music:

    “One of my bucket lists was to sing that song with Vince Gill. The Lord blesses me more and more each day, because I didn’t get up there and sing it with just him, but there were a wealth of heroes on that stage from Keb’ Mo and Alison Krauss. There were so many incredible talents. I count my blessings each day.” Singing with Gill also impressed one of his longtime fans, as well. “My granddaddy had been telling me for years, ‘Bogart, you need to quit rock and rollin’ in them nightclubs, and make an album that sounds like Vince Gill or Travis Tritt.’ I think I made an album that he’d be proud of, and I don’t think he could ever be happier to see me on stage with anybody other than Vince Gill. That was a true honor.

    Continue reading  Post ID 8250

  • Bo knows Bo

    Bo’s been very busy doing the press rounds for his new album, and there’ll be even more interviews next week, when he’s in LA to watch the AI finale and catch up with old friends. They do get repetitive – can anyone even guess how many times over the last 5 years that Bo’s been asked what Simon’s really like? Still, there have been a few lately that have let Bo really open up about his life and his music, and they’re worth reading.

    Bo told the Huffington Post why 3 is so diverse –

    There’s never one day that we sat down and we said, “Okay, let’s try and write something. We’re going to get it on rock radio or country radio.” For me, I think, it’s just where the music’s going. When you have all these different pieces of what Bo Bice is, I think it makes it a lot more intense for the listener. It’s like giving them a concept album without there being a concept.

    In this one with American Idol Net, Bo talks about the inspiration behind some of his songs.

    Ash: On your album you have song called “Different Shades of Blue” and it seems to me to be about overcoming challenges and so many people can relate to that. Was that what you were thinking about when writing the song?

    BB: Oh very much so. Number one I wrote that song with Greg Barnhill, he’s a friend of mine and an incredible writer and I don’t know how I got hooked up writing with Greg Barnhill, he’s just incredible and has had so many hits and so many people have sung songs of his. To be quite candid there’s people who do know I struggled with drugs and alcohol when I was a younger guy. Really that’s how a lot of us songwriters do, we delve into ourselves and into the things that made us who we are and a lot of the time it’s tragedy that’s made you who you are because you learn from those style of things.

    Continue reading  Post ID 8250

  • A fox and a friend

    Bo and Bart Walker are making the rounds promoting the heck out of 3 today, singing their hearts out and looking damn good doing it (don’t be fooled by the video stills!). Here they are with You Take Yourself With You:

    And Long Road Back:

    Just for good measure, here’s Bo’s appearance on Geraldo at Large from this past Sunday.

    Nicely done all around, Bo. Are you enjoying this as much as your fans are?