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REVIEW: Bo Bice of 'American Idol' loses himself in Blood, Sweat & Tears' music in Bethlehem
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.
No longer wearing the long hair and beard that distinguished him when he finished second to Carrie Underwood on “Idol” in 2005 (it’s been replaced by a high, spiky ‘do), Bice never once focused on himself or his career.
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 brass that make Blood, Sweat & Tears, and the lineup had both with Bice and a four-man horn section among its nine members. (The band actually was visibly cramped on the Musikfest Café stage.)
Bo Bice so very happy to be singing the hits of Blood, Sweat & Tears
Courtesy - The Morning Call
In July, Bo Bice, the runner-up on the fourth season of "American Idol," got an unexpected phone call.
It was from the legendary jazz-rock group Blood, Sweat & Tears, saying vocalist David Aldo had returned to his solo career and telling Bice, "We're interested in having you come out and possibly do a couple of shows if you'd like to."
ice's career was rolling along just fine — perhaps not at the 2005 level when sales of his recording of the "Idol" coronation song "Inside Your Heaven" nearly matched winner Carrie Underwood's, and his debut album "The Real Thing" hit No. 4 and went gold. His last album, his third, broke the Top 200 and he continues a strong touring schedule.
Bice says the offer intrigued him. He sang Blood Sweat & Tears on "Idol" and released a cover of the group's song "Vehicle as a single after the show.
"I think that they did their homework on me. Because I did [the song] 'Spinning Wheel' on 'American Idol,' people could kind of gauge — you know, Can the cat sing this stuff?" Bice says with a laugh by phone from his home outside Atlanta.