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"Spinning Wheel"

Blood, Sweat & Tears interview with lead singer Bo Bice

Grammy award winning band Blood, Sweat & Tears will be returning to the area when they play one show only at Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino in Salamanca.  Those very familiar songs and sounds of a band that has stood the test of time will warm up the Events Center on Saturday, Feb. 11 at 7pm.

Many of you were probably part of their audience when they played on the slopes of Holiday Valley during Ellicottville’s Summer Music Festival two years ago.  For those of you that missed that show, including myself, we are lucky to have a second chance come around so quickly.

With hits like “Spinning Wheel” and “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy”, it is no wonder this band has been a fan favorite around the world for five decades now, having been formed in 1967.

I was able to talk with lead singer Bo Bice and drummer Dylan Elise for their show at the Summer Fest, and I got the chance to talk with Bo again about the upcoming casino show. Bice liked the idea of having a “repeat chat” and we had a lot of fun catching up. I got an update on where the band will be heading in 2017, as well as that possible new album we talked about last time.  I remember thinking when I spoke with him before, how funny he was, and he was no different this time around.  

Bice was excited about a milestone he celebrated with the band this year, which brought the phrase “the older you get the faster time flies by” to the forefront of my mind; and how they are all looking forward to coming back this way and even mentioned a wardrobe change he is making from what he brought when they played on the foothills of the slope in 2015, which you will read about in the following conversation.

Make sure you save the date, Feb. 11 on your new 2017 calendars and come out for one of the best times you will have in the New Year. Tickets to Blood, Sweat & Tears’ performance at Seneca Allegany Casino in Salamanca start at $15 and can be purchased through www.senecacasinos.com (click on Allegany). For more information on the band, visit www.bloodsweatandtears.com.

 

A CONVERSATION WITH BO BICE

HULICK: It’s great to talk to you again Bo!

BICE: Yes! We talked when we were going to play Ellicottville in the summer of 2015. This is wonderful to have a repeat chat.

HULICK: How did your Summer Fest performance go on the slopes?

BICE: It was a great time! We have a great time anywhere we go, but that area is almost like coming home for us ... being that the band originated in Canada.

HULICK: This time around, you will be playing at Seneca Allegany Casino in February 11 …

BICE: Yes, we are excited to have that date on our calendar for 2017. It’s been a very busy year for us in 2016 and we are looking forward to 2017. Hey, I celebrated my third year with the band this year.

HULICK:  Wow! I wouldn’t have thought it has been three years already!

BICE: Yes, three years. I’ve been all over the world, literally with this band. For 2017 we already have Jakarta, Indonesia on our schedule and we’ll be heading to Australia again. So it’s shaping up to be another great year.

HULICK: You’re going to hit the ground running in the New Year …

BICE: You got it! We just got back from Mexico. It was an incredible crowd at the Jazz Festival there. You know how I told you before that most people up north don’t understand what I’m saying with my southern accent when we talked last?

HULICK: Yes, and I told you that I had interviewed Larry the Cable Guy and had you covered.

BICE: Exactly! Well let me tell you … these people in Mexico didn’t know what in the world I was saying! (laughs)

HULICK: So how do you feel, three years later, about taking the job with the band?

BICE: I’ve always said - and this goes for my solo career and anything else I have done - that if I quit digging it, I’ll quit doing it, and I dig this more and more every single day. I truly do. I’m not just saying that because I’m in the band and collecting a check … truly. I do a lot of different things … I still do the Bo Bice thing, I’m raising four kids with my wife and I dabble in a few other different businesses, but this gig with BS&T fulfills me musically and I am able to travel around with my brothers and play music that I love.

HULICK: We talked the last time about a possible new album in the works. Any updates on that you’d like to share?

BICE: I still write as a solo artist for myself all the time, but I have to turn into a different creature if I want to write in the frame of BS&T. A lot of our time has been capitalized in touring. It’s a double edge sword when you wake up in a different city or town and go to sound check and play a show, then repeat it all the next day. It doesn’t leave time for writing. You know what … out of respect for the members of the band, let’s just take my “job” hat off and talk to Bo Bice a minute. As a guy who owns a record label, and has been doing this for a while himself … it’s hard to sell records anymore to be honest with you. I can’t tell you behind the scenes why we haven’t or aren’t rushing to put out an album, but I can tell you that by keeping the music alive, by touring right now, is most important to us as a band. So until we can figure out where is that next hit that you and I used to know that sells records at Sam Goode’s … (laughs)

HULICK: (laughs) No kidding! Wow, that’s a blast from the past!

BICE: That’s not my little soap-box rant, that’s my overview of the situation.

HULICK: Well you’re right. The music industry has changed so much and when a vocalist or group wants to make a new album and start writing, they take time off … like an Adele, Bruno Mars or Bon Jovi. They don’t tour like you guys do, which is all the time.

BICE: You’re right. You know before BS&T I used to take January and February off just to do what you’re talking about … write. Then March was pre-production to get the tour ready for April and from then to New Year’s you would tour … and that was my cycle. But listen, I’m not complaining, why sit around and complain about something you’re not going to change … and you’re not going to change the music business. So change what you can, live with the rest, adapt and move forward. Listen, I tell folks this all the time about my career … I’ve worked really hard to get where I am, so if you want my spot you need to get up early … eat your breakfast … get you a good cup of coffee … some fresh squeezed orange juice, not the concentrate, because you are gonna need all the vitamins to keep up with me Jack!

HULICK: (laughs) You crack me up!

BICE: It’s gonna be hard to steal my position away from me, because you’re gonna have to come in and snatch it from me, or I’m gonna have to get old and wither away … but don’t think you’re just gonna get it! (laughs)

HULICK: (laughs) You are too funny! Well this has been fun talking to you again and we can’t wait to see you guys February 11th. It’s going to be quite different, weather wise, than it was when you were here in July.

BICE: You know what? I love coming to that area. It’s always beautiful … you’ve got Niagara Falls, the ski areas, etc. Winter is absolutely beautiful there for a few minutes … then you run your butt inside as fast as you can! (laughs) … So I’m gonna bring my nice new winter trench coat with me … I will dress the part.

HULICK: (laughs) What? No Speedo this time like you brought to the Summer Fest?

BICE: (laughs) No neon green Speedo … I’ll never do that one again, I’ll tell you what! So tell everyone to bundle up and come see us in February.