Written by Vicki L. Kroll, toledofreepress.com
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Crystal Bowersox celebrated her 25th birthday earlier this month in Tampa, Fla., another stop on the American Idols Live! Tour. There was just one gift she wanted: A visit from her 18-month-old son, Tony.
“I had my son flown to Florida so he was there with me on my birthday, and it was his first time seeing me on the big stage,” she said. “When the television show was on, he was always back in the VIP room; he never saw me perform. So it was really, really cool — had the little ear protectors on him.
“He enjoyed the whole thing, looked at the Jumbotron, looked at mommy on stage. He couldn’t quite figure it out, but he clapped for me.”
Toledo — and Tony — will get another visit with Bowersox when the Idols Tour stops at the Huntington Center on Aug. 29.
This time when her legions of fans gather at the arena, there’ll be clapping. In May, a stunned packed house watched the “American Idol” finale and saw Lee DeWyze named the winner.
“It’s going to be really cool when we get to Toledo and see familiar faces,” Bowersox said during a call before a show in San Diego. “I think [the concert is] a good thing for the whole family. There’s such a variety of music from each of the different contestants.”
Set to take the stage with Bowersox and DeWyze are the rest of the top 10 performers from season nine: Didi Benami, Andrew Garcia, Casey James, Aaron Kelly, Michael Lynche, Siobhan Magnus, Katie Stevens and Tim Urban. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. show range from $38.50 to $68.50.
“No guarantees, but something might happen there; I might do something different for the hometown,” Bowersox teased.
Don’t expect to see her signature microphone stand.
“My mic stand is currently retired for now, for the summer. I traded it in for a headset so I could walk around the stage and get as close to the audience as I possibly can,” the Elliston native said.
“It’s really great to get to meet the fans and come to them,” she said. “We’re learning a lot [on the tour], but we’re having fun.”
Trying to learn about the star’s debut disc was tough. Bowersox said she didn’t want to give too much away.
“It will definitely be all-original, if not original, it’ll be co-written. I want to take part in every aspect of the album. I want to co-produce,” she said. “It’s my baby, it’s my art, so I want to be involved. It’s supposed to represent me, so I’m going to try to do that the best I can.”
Bowersox confirmed that local bassist Frankie May will record with her.
When asked if “Holy Toledo” will be on the disc, she replied, “We haven’t decided on songs yet, but songs that are most important to me will be on the album.”
The singer-songwriter then shared the story behind that track: “I was 17 sitting on a friend’s front porch, thinking about moving and wondering what else is out there. I was at a turning point in my life; I was going from, you know, teenager to a woman, and that’s when I moved to Chicago and just kind of started fulfilling my dreams and not really letting anything get in the way. I think it’s a song of hope for something better.”
And yes, she knows how to drive a stick. “When I wrote that song, I actually had a 1972 Volkswagen bus,” she said.
After the tour wraps up Aug. 31, MamaSox will return to Northwest Ohio for a few days and her favorite gig — singing to her son.
“I sing to him whenever I can,” Bowersox said. “He sings, too. He’s picking up on ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,’ and he understands the difference between a low note and a higher note. He’s into it; he’s been around music since he was in the womb.”
She added, “He’s a very, very Zen baby; he’s calm, cool and collected.”
Must get that from his mom, who seems so down-to-earth.
“I grew up lower income, middle class, you know. I’ve lived a long time without much, and I realize that’s not the important stuff in life anyway, really; it’s health and happiness, and I’ve got that so I’m alright.”
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