When the jazz/rock band Blood, Sweat and Tears perform Oct. 19 in Naperville, audiences will see an “American Idol” onstage.
Former “American Idol” contestant Bo Bice, who came in second place to Carrie Underwood, will front the band at their 8 p.m. show at North Central’s Pfeiffer Hall.
Known for such hits as “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy,” “And When I Die” and “Spinning Wheel,” the band’s career has spanned more than four decades. It was assembled by drummer/producer Bobby Colomby and was one of the first groups to successfully blend rock and jazz.
The band is now a well-oiled machine that features top-notch musicians as it tours the world.
Bice has already done four shows with Blood, Sweat and Tears. He caught the band’s attention when he covered their hit song “Spinning Wheel” on “American Idol.”
“I’ve been a fan of Blood, Sweat and Tears … and it literally took one phone call eight weeks ago to where they asked me if I wanted to come out and be a special guest for a round of four or five shows,” he said. “I knew enough about the band’s lineage and catalogue — they’ve had more than 140 members — I was honored that they threw the invitation out there. I’ve been having a blast with it and hopefully I’ve been a good ambassador. It’s a stellar, hit-kicking catalog.”
Since “Idol,” Bice has forged a solid career of touring and making music. That is why this is a nice partnership for both acts, he said.
“It’s a really nice way to cross-pollinate two genres of music,” he said. “Blood, Sweat and Tears is truly a rock ’n’ roll horn band. I try to live in different genres.”
And while some of their songs are right in his wheelhouse, others “keep me on my toes,” he said.
“We were doing this song called ‘I Can’t Quit Her,’ and they use this word ‘proselytize.’ I said I had to look it up to make sure I wasn’t going to offend anybody when I said whatever it was in case I threw in the wrong syllable. Was it the day that Al and whomever wrote it woke up with a dictionary and thumbed his way through until he came to a word and said, ‘I’m going to use proselytize in a song today.’ It’s that kind of stuff that keeps you on your toes. It’s whimsical music that is very intricate and well put together. I think that’s the only way they can continue to pull it off and to continue to be that legendary, iconic band, is because no one else has ever done that. They’re the pioneers.”
When audiences see Blood, Sweat and Tears, don’t expect to hear any Bo Bice songs. He purposefully didn’t put any of his own material on the set lists.
“We do a couple covers that I picked out — ‘Vehicle’ and ‘Midnight Rider’ — but I wanted this to stay genuine Blood, Sweat and Tears. I’m just coming and singing because I’m a fan. It is going to be an extremely high-energy show that is packed filled with hit songs all night long.”