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Courtesy - NWITimes.com

By - Eloise Marie Valadez

Though a great number of  performers have come through the ranks of "American Idol," not too many have garnered significant attention.

Bo Bice, who ranked second place on Fox TV's "American Idol" in 2005, is one of the stars of the competitive vocal show who continues to be in the spotlight.

Bice is currently performing as the lead singer for Blood, Sweat and Tears (BS & T). The jazz, rock and blues-inspired group recently performed at Majestic Star Casino in Gary.

During the 90-minute show, Bice proved a powerful frontman. In addition, the band 's brass section was a standout as their performance was clear, strong and never muddled.

Highlighted  songs on the playlist included a scorching version of "Lucretia McEvil," the gospel-tinged "Hi-De Ho," the hit "Spinning Wheel" and "You Made Me So Very Happy." The group also performed a rendition of "God Bless The Child," which had a bit of a Latin tinge.

Bice has called the Blood, Sweat and Tears repertoire "timeless" and he definitely gave the tunes the respect they deserve in concert.

Through the years, BS & T has changed personnel extensively. Back in the 1960s, singer David Clayton Thomas was at the vocal forefront of the band. These days, with Bice as frontman, the group seems to be going in a good direction.

During a recent interview, Bice said BS & T is planning a large scale tour this summer and he's looking forward to joining them.

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Bo Bice fronts Blood, Sweat & Tears at Musikfest Cafe in Bethlehem

bethlehemPerhaps 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the long hair and beard that distinguished him when he finished second to Carrie Underwood on “Idol” in 2005 (it’s been replaced by a high, spiky ‘do), Bice never once focused on himself or his career.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.)