Courtesy - The Daily News
By ALYSSA HARVEY
When the band Blood, Sweat & Tears entered Bo Bice’s life, it was perfect timing.
“It was like the Reese’s effect – peanut butter and chocolate. It just works,” Bice said in a phone interview Monday. “I get humbled each day that I get to perform with such great musicians.”
Bice, who came in second place to Carrie Underwood in the fourth season of “American Idol,” is now the lead singer of the Grammy Award-winning band.
“A year-and-a-half ago, I was tapped as a front man. Next year will be two years,” he said. “One of the reasons I decided to join is that they were putting out their first album in four decades.”
BS&T, known for such hits as “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy,” “Spinning Wheel,” “And When I Die,” “Hi-De-Ho” and “Lucretia MacEvil,” will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday with Orchestra Kentucky at the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center on College Street. Ticket prices range from $17 to $67 and may be obtained by phone at 270-846-2426 or online at orchestrakentucky.com or theskypac.com.
“I play the trumpet. When I learned the trumpet, I always liked to listen to bands that featured brass players,” said Jeff Reed, orchestra music director and conductor. “It was very inspiring. They’ve had a lot of hit songs. It was a natural group to have.”
People know the songs, Reed said.
“It’s one of those top bands from the ’60s and ’70s,” he said. “They should come to hear them.”
BS&T started in 1967 in New York City. Nearly 200 band members have come and gone throughout the years.
“My childhood has been wrapped up in these songs. I sang one of their songs on ‘American Idol’ in season four,” he said. “Ten years later, I’m in the band and we’re on a world tour traveling to Australia, Mexico and everywhere else.”
Since “American Idol,” Bice has been writing, producing and running his own record label. He worked for a decade before his success on the television show. He had three albums before and three albums since. He decided to take a hiatus from his solo career and does not want it to overshadow BS&T.
“It’s not Bo, Sweat and Tears. I want to make sure when folks experience songs, they have a little piece of their childhood. We have a crowd who spans from an older crowd to 12-, 13-year-olds that go to concerts with their grandparents,” he said. “I think it has a lot to do with the catalogue of music. They’ve got loads of fans. It’s really cool they continue to grow their fan base and their catalogue of music.”
Patrons won’t see a tribute band, Bice said.
“This is the real thing,” he said. “The real stars every night are the people who come out and enjoy this music.”
Bice had no qualms about taking the position of lead singer.
“I’ve never been a nervous person. I come prepared. When I was tapped to become singer of this band, I did my research,” he said. “Even up to the time we step on stage, you don’t want to be the weakest link. They keep you on your toes. There’s not a lot of room for nerves. You need to bring your best game, and you need to bring it every day.”
Bice brought some of his own flavor to the band with the Allman Brothers Band song “Midnight Rider,” among other tunes.
“I brought a few of my favorites in and they made the cut. Sometimes it’s the crew backstage that says, ‘You gonna play ‘Midnight Rider’ tonight?’” he said. “That makes you feel good. What I wanted was to be part of something. That’s something I haven’t been in a decade.”