Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival runs every year from March through Memorial Day Weekend! Part of the festival includes the “Garden Rocks Concert Series”. Different national acts every weekend. Blood Sweat and Tears with Bo Bice were performing on the weekend of our visit. Bo has gone through many changes since his Idol days. Gone is the long hair.
A family man with four children, Bice keeps busy when not on the road We asked Bo to catch us up on what he has been doing since his American Idol days.
In 2005, the Top 12 week of American Idol was 60’s week. Idol’s first rocker Bo Bice chose to sing Blood, Sweat and Tears 1969 hit “Spinning Wheel”. Bice had no idea then that his future was to include singing this song as the frontman for the historical band in 2017!
1. Bo, what has the reception of the fans been of you being the frontman of such an iconic band of the 60’s?
B: After my performance of ‘Spinning Wheel’ on American Idol, the diehard BS&T fans took notice of my homage to this historic rock/ jazz/horn juggernaut. Little did I know when I picked that song back in 2005, that would be my audition to eventually becoming the frontman for the band that I’ve long admired in 2013. I’m as big of a fan as the ones who started back in 1967 with Blood, Sweat & Tears so it’s a dream come true to be a small part of this iconic band.
2. One of my fav songs of yours is “Changing for the Better”! Are you still writing and have any plans to record solo?
Thank you Vicky. Yes ma’am I’m still writing and recording solo music. I’ve stayed busy both doing painting/photo and writing for myself with other writers for TV, Radio, and other artist projects. I’m also recording a song with my friend and fellow A.I. Alumni Jessica Muse. I’ll soon be putting out some new Art/Paintings/Photos that reflect our last 3+ years on our world tour. It’s been an amazing, educational ride with my BS&T brothers and their influence shines through in different mediums. Being around people who drive you creatively does inspire you to do your best, iron sharpens iron. Being on stage with the best of the best each night is such a treat, I have the best seat in the house. There’s a kindred spirit in music that we all share and it shows in the performances each night that we love this catalog of music.
3. Does the family travel with you at all?
Sometimes Caroline and the kids travel with us to shows. They’ve come along for the ‘Magic Kingdom’ shows the past 2 years and I take them on trips with me solo sometimes too. My middle son Caleb and youngest boy Ean love to travel with Dad to gigs and just about anywhere else I’m headed when I’m out and about.
4. Do you ever talk to any of the other Idols from the class of 2005?
I’ve spoken with many different Alumni over the past decade since my class of 2005. I just saw Elliot Yamen in Jakarta a few weeks ago, Melinda Doolittle is a good friend who sang on a few tracks with me on my ‘See The Light’ cd, I talked to Nadia Turner a couple of months ago for a bit (she and I were always close) just shooting the bull. I’ve made many lifelong friends through my Idol experience Ruben, Casey Abrams, Hailey Reinhardt, the late Michael Johns, Taylor Hicks, Constantine.
5. Are you glad you didn’t win Idol?
I’ve often said that America made the right choice with Carrie, she’s a Superstar and I’m extremely proud of her. Not a lot of people get to see all of their dreams come true and see another friends’ dreams come true as well. I feel honored and blessed to have shared the stage with such a talented young lady and I’ve never had any hard feelings about the outcome or any bad feeling toward American Idol. I’m very proud to be a part of the show and love my friends who’ve participated in my success and helped to nurture my career. We share a bond as Alumni from A.I., we have very similar stories, experiences, friends, “NOT FRIENDS”� that tie us together.
6. What is it like for you to perform with this band who has been in music over 50 years?
I’m glad we finally crossed paths and were able to make this combination workout. I never entered into this project wanting to mold BS&T around me. I love the fans as much as the music and I whole-heartedly believe that we are dealing with people’s emotions and memories when we perform these songs of BS&T every show. It’s important when you’re dealing with people’s memories that you respect them and stay true to their expectations. We don’t change the key of songs to fit my register, perform alternate versions of songs, modernize versions of the BS&T hits… We perform them like you remember them. The music is the star of the show, we are just the vessel for the catalogue of music but it’s the fans that have always been at the forefront of the success of BS&T. I can relate to that after all I’ve been through in my 25 years making music outta this business.
7. Did you ever meet Gregg Allman or hear from him after your famous performance of “Whipping Post” on Idol?
I never have had the opportunity to meet Gregg in person. But he did send me an autographed photo thanking me for doing ‘Whipping Post’ on A.I. That was a very cool piece of mail to get after being a fan of The Allman Brothers. my entire life. When Gregg tells you that you’ve done an amazing job on one of their songs it makes you feel like you earned your spot. I have many of my heroes as friends like Skynyrd, Jim Peterik (Ides Of March, Survivor), William Lee Golden (Oak Ridge Boys), Ingrid & A.J. Croce, and I never in a million years thought that would happen. I cherish those relationships dearly.
God has blessed me with so much in this life, my wife, children, parents and friends all play a huge part in my life and the decisions I make professionally and personally. It is because of them and BB/BS&T fans that I am able to do what I love everyday and continue to live my dreams on a minute by minute basis while sharing my love of music with the world. Thank all of you!
photo of Bo Bice & Carrie Underwood courtesy of Fox TV. All other photos by Vicky Sullivan / Rock The Lens Photography