A Conversation with Bo Bice

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We caught up with American Idol recording artist, Bo Bice and talked abut music and marriage.

You’re playing an acoustic set tonight. Is that something new?
Well, in a way, yes. We mix it up. Last weekend I had the whole band, and then the weekend before that I was acoustic. A lot of people probably don’t know that before Idol, I did come from more of the acoustic side of things. I’d play in bars acoustically during the week and then played with my band on weekends. It’s getting to my roots, it keeps me fresh.

Oh, Were you on Idol?
Yeah. American Idol, a little show… [laughs]

I thought you looked familiar.
[laughs] Before I knew it I’m standing in front of millions on some TV show.It’s so crazy to just see how the transitions work.

I hear there’s a live album on the way.
The live CD —   I Love the Road  —   was recorded last year. It’s live with a 20-minute documentary and a couple of music videos. I’ve been working on an EP of five studio tracks that we’re going to do something with. We’re staying busy. I’m blessed to be able to do what I love. That’s what’s the most important right now.

What’s the street date?
It’s been a year in the making; we don’t have a firm date yet.

How would you describe your music?
I get shot in the foot sometimes , but I always call it “southern rock”. When I say Southern Rock I mean bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allmann Brothers and Hank Williams, Jr. But actually, we’re more country, rhythm & blues and rock n’ roll. I play everything from Bob Seeger sounding stuff to Jim Croce and The Eagles to Lynyrd Skynyrd. It’s just a different kind of music, a style of music that I guess people think of as the ’70s. But for me it’s a style that I’ve done my whole life.

You love the road, don’t you…
Yeah, I do.  It takes a really twisted minded person to do this.  I’m made to tool around on a bus with our dog and my buddies and travel from town to town. I think that it really opens up your mind and it also opens up your heart to feel the common threads in people.  My life has been a training camp for this. Before Idol, we traveled and experienced so many cool things.

You love the road, but …
It’s a fine-line balancing act. We bring the family on the road when possible. But, business is business too. You know each person has their own personal ministry and each person’s going to have to answer for their time here. Having a relationship with Christ makes that a little easier for me.

Speaking of travel, you’ve spent time in Afghanistan and Iraq …
Yeah. Last February we spent two weeks in Afghanistan and then in October of last year, we were in Iraq for ten days. I come from a military family background so it was nice to thank the people that are keeping us free.  It was an incredible journey, such a breathtaking environment. It’s so beautiful, but it’s one of the most desolate places on earth. It truly makes you grateful for how we live over here. Try living in a mud hut at 13 below in the mountains.

When you see an Iraqi or Afghani person or a soldier, you understand the true job and the true meaning of what’s going on. I think those kinds of things are part of the road. It’s all part of this journey.

Anything else keeping you busy?
We do a lot of charity things.  For example, there’s a woman’s shelter back home in Helena, Alabama —   the Safe House —   that we try to help. There’s the Share the Beat organization that Jamie Redford asked me to be a part of. We do these things throughout the year and we always jump at anything that we can do for the military.

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If I looked in your truck —   You have a truck, right?
Yeah, I do. Truck and a Harley like a good red neck.  [laughs]

What kinds of music would we find?
You would be amazed at my iPod. It’s got everything from —   oh, goodness gracious —   regular rock stuff like James Gang and Jimmy Hendrix to some opera stuff.  I’ve got some Anthrax. I’ve got Third Day. I love Mac and the cats from Third Day. I’ve got oh, man-all kinds of singer-songwriter stuff like John Prine and Arthro Guthrie, Willie Nelson. I’m a huge Willie Nelson fan.

No Skynyrd?
Yeah. I ‘ve only got all of their stuff. It’s pretty eclectic. I’ve even got some Run DMC.

How’s the family?
Well, you know we’re really working at trying to get this new CD out, but next month we’re going on a bit of a vacation. We’re going back home to Alabama to see family and we’ll swing through Georgia and Florida to see friends. This will truly be my first vacation since Idol; it will be nice. And it will be our first time away and with the two kids.

Is there a third on the way?
You never know, man. [laughs] Everybody’s trying to talk us into one. It seems to be that we have a kid every time we put out an album. [laughs]

You’d need to plan another record.
Yeah, and I’d have to put out another one after this. [laughs]

My children are truly one of the biggest blessings in my life.  As anyone who has kids knows, there’s something that changes in your heart and changes in your soul. There’s an innocence that you witness. Trust me, I’m not a patient man, but my kids have taught me patience. They bring out something that is primal. I’m learning so much now in my life. I’m only 33 and and it’s been such a cool ride, man. If we had another one I would be jumping up and down. That would be groovy.

What kinds of spiritual intimacy are you and your wife experiencing these days?
I’ve been blessed to have a relationship with Christ my whole life and to be raised in a church family. My wife and I had a spiritual connection from the time we dated.

Her relationship with Christ was the thing that drew me to her. She’s a rock. We draw our strength from each other, but she is the cornerstone of the house. She keeps things running —   even though I’m the face of the household.  That’s really how it is in my house. I’m not afraid to say that. You know my wife runs our house and does a great job and takes care of our children.

A lot of the things that come with this lifestyle —   the drugs and the alcohol and the women —   they’re not a part of what happens in our life. It’s very easy to stay faithful.  It’s a special trust and a bond.

We’re best friends. We are standing on this relationship and our faith. I think if those two things are strong we’ll be able to make it through anything.

Visit Bo at BoBice.com

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