Crystal Bowersox: American Idol Indeed at the Richland Academy of the Arts!

Crystal Bowersox

Crystal Bowersox

Crystal Bowersox is a jewel of a performer with her impeccable voice. The former American Idol Finalist and Runner-Up from 2010 resonated the Richland Academy of the Arts with her music and personality. The nearly sold-out concert was proudly sponsored by Richland Public Health.

For over 2 hours, this former Toledo, Ohio native and her talented duo of musicians reached into the heart of fans from Mansfield, Ohio. The music was spectacular as Crystal performed her catalog of moving songs, covers and expressed her desire to assist those with healthcare adversities.

While many entertainers in today’s society have the power to be role models, Crystal definitely ‘walks the talk’!

Crystal Bowersox

Singer, Songwriter and Actress, Crystal Bowersox.

Crystal Bowersox doesn’t mince words as she often tells the story behind the compositions setting the tone for a very enlightened experience. I’ve had the privilege of seeing several performers and winners of American Idol in the past. Crystal’s vocal delivery and ability to hold a note is incredible.  Throughout her songs, she captivated the audience with her powerful lungs and long-lasting sustain of breath! Her mission to assist children with Diabetes is admirable as a spokesperson for the charity project, Lilly Diabetes. She is a beaming example of not letting her own diagnosis of Type-1 Diabetes stand in the road of success!

It was truly inspiring to witness her conviction of helping others as November is: National Diabetes Awareness Month. This was the first adventure for Richland Public Health by sponsoring this concert with the healthcare initiative to raise concern for those who may be diabetic or suffer from Opioid Addiction. The event was a win-win situation as the audience included physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals. The small stage with low-lighting provided a crisp, close view of the ensemble, while the sound and acoustics were magnificent inside the quant, Richland Academy of the Arts.

Mr. Greg Carter – Music Director of the Richland Academy of the Arts.

Richland Academy of the Arts Music Director, Greg Carter introduced Mary Ann Cooper (of the Richland Academy of the Arts) and Director, Julie Chaya of Richland Public Health onstage after welcoming the crowd. Each of the women spoke about the excitement of bringing the talented artist to North Central Ohio. Julia Chaya spoke about the awareness of National Diabetes Awareness Month and the epidemic of Opioid addiction ravaging our community. Earlier in the day, Crystal Bowersox gave a free concert to local area elementary schools at the Richland Academy of the Arts.

Greg Carter also discussed the enthusiasm of bringing future acts to Mansfield at this jewel of a venue. The crowd clapped with approval. He compared a few lines of the lyrics from the song “Witchita Linemen’ recorded by the late, Glen Campbell (written by Jimmy Webb) to Crystal Bowersox’s journey to Mansfield.

We are quite lucky to have this stellar facility located in downtown Mansfield with its cultural diversity of promoting art and music. Our best wishes to Mr. Greg Carter and the Richland Academy of the Arts for their professional courtesy while blazing the trail for providing a scale of music variety to our community in the future!

Percussionist, Derek Louise.

As Crystal and her band-mates took the stage an exciting evening of music was about to unfold!

Crystal Bowersox and her band with bassist, Evan Brown and drummer, Derek Louise  set the ambience throughout the night featuring many of the tunes off her latest album, ‘Alive’. The new songs featured songs encompassed several genres including Country, Folk and Rock music. Some songs featured the entire band and other times it was a solo adventure, with just Crystal performing with her guitar and majestic vocal flair! Either way, the technical aspect of the music was a delight to hear and the crowd easily gave her their undivided attention.

The band was crystal clear with spontaneous delivery, providing a variety of accented progressions giving you the impression of diversity through their detailed musical accompaniments, thus providing the essence of a tightly professional trio of musicians.

Evan Brown

Bassist, Evan Brown.

The first tune was a sweet rendition cover of the late Tom Petty’s, “Last Dance with Mary Jane”. The vibrato ability of Crystals vocals were astounding and the song featured a uniquely structered bass solo in place of the original lead guitar solo. The second song, “Sunshine Brighter’ from the new CD, ‘Alive‘ began with beautiful vocal harmonies from the entire band. The lead vocals were powerfully delivered. The ability of her diaphragm to project a resilient tone is simply amazing!

Bowersox spoke about the inspiration behind next song “A Broken Wing”, stemming from the opioid addiction of a family member. The solemn tune displayed her ability to project her incredible vocal talent. Another new song “Staycation”, featured drummer, Derek Louise on the Conga drum as the crisply elevated mood enlightened the crowd. Crystal’s voice reminded me of Dolly Parton. During the middle of the song, the band broke into the cover of the Steve Miller Band, “Fly Like An Eagle” for a brief moment. With tunes featuring snappy musical breaks and stops instituted throughout by the trio, gave Crystal the spotlight to stun the crowd with her vocal prowess on the microphone!

The Rust Belt Chronicles President, Erica M.Lenhoff (L) and Crystal Bowersox (R).

“Now That You’re Gone” featured a brisk tempo as the young lady shows a brief raspy tone, reminding me of Janis Joplin incarnated! “Bite The Bullet” exhibits the vibrato of her voice once again. It amazes as she projects her staggering range and ignites the crowd. In-between songs, Crystal even cracked a joke to our photographer, Erica M. Lenhoff remarking: “This is my best side” as Erica was photographing her during the concert. The crowd laughed as did Erica.

“Mine All Mine” was a beautiful ballad with Crystal’s fluttering vocals. “No Mistake”, off the new album, ‘Alive‘ was a bit humorous story that Bowersox conveyed concerning a curious question from her young son. “Until Then“,  featured a monstrous chorus with the singer-songwriter vocals poised to wake-up the deaf. Her ability to hold a note is astounding. The next tune was another off the new CD entitled, “The Ride”.

The song, “Dead Weight” swung with swagger between the percussive accompaniments, driving bass guitar and predominant vocals. Whether with sticks or mallets drummer, Derek Louise abiltity to make the most out of his small drum kit taking advantage of his warped ride cymbal and other accessories to accentuate the mood. Bassist, Evan Brown also provided a distinct tone fretting the instrument with a variety of tone and clarity.

Crystal Bowersox Photo Gallery.

The encore was a great rendition of the Janis Joplin tune, “Me and Bobby McGee” which was also recorded on ‘Alive’. Crystal invited the fans who often say: “You should’ve won” (during her American Idol competition) to the merch table, where she had a suitcase with  a few dollar bills written with the same inscription to show their own appreciation by signing those words on their own contribution as she plans to start her own 501 (c)(3) fund for children with Diabetes cleverly called: ‘You Should’ve Won’.

Crystal Bowersox definitely has a calling with her gifted voice, songwriting and music. She marches to the beat of a different drummer, but recognizes those in need greater than herself.

Making her mission as crystal clear as her voice. An American Idol indeed!

*My apologies to Crystal, her band, management, all the fine folks at Richland Academy of the Arts and Richland Public Health for the delay in this article! Recent medical testing has put me behind on all my endeavors.


–  The Rust Belt Chronicles, CEO/Founder Jim Carver



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Jim Carver About Jim Carver

Jim Carver is the President of The Rust Belt Chronicles.

In 2004, Jim graduated from North Central State College with a degree in Business Information Technology. Jim developed "Rock Lines" news report online in 2010.After a trial-run of The Rust Belt Chronicles in April of 2013, Jim decided to make his dream a reality in 2014 by re-launching The Rust Belt Chronicles.

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