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.

2 Responses to Chameleon

  1. So nice to hear such positive comments. So nice to see these pictures of Bo. He is such a multi talented and gifted musician and has worked so hard. The praise is so deserved. I noticed that he is appearing in Salisbury MA the end of July. Gives me something to look forward to.

  2. The show in Virginia is one of my all time favorites. I gained some new respect for Bo as a musician that night. Bo playing the piano and singing Used to Be Me touched my heart in a way he has never touched my heart.

    Thrilled for him for the BS&T gig. He is a perfect match for the group. I hope they have a long and successful partnership.