Hoopla

Crystal Bowersox talks love of Cedar Rapids ahead of her performance at CSPS

CRYSTAL BOWERSOX

Crystal Bowersox, who found fame as a runner-up on “American Idol” in 2010, is returning to CSPS Hall in Cedar Rapids on Sunday night (10/14).
CRYSTAL BOWERSOX Crystal Bowersox, who found fame as a runner-up on “American Idol” in 2010, is returning to CSPS Hall in Cedar Rapids on Sunday night (10/14).

It’s common for a recording artist to gush about a city they are about to visit. It’s uncommon for details to be delivered when asked why the town is so significant.

Crystal Bowersox evidently loves Cedar Rapids.

“What’s not to be crazy about,” Bowersox said while calling from her Nashville home. “Cedar Rapids is so hip and young. The rest of the country doesn’t know about it. It’s a well-kept secret. I’ve been there four times and I’ve noticed. I love the restaurants around CSPS Hall. ... And I love CSPS, which is one of my favorite places to play because it’s always packed when I come to Cedar Rapids.”

Bowersox, 33, who will return Sunday (10/14) to perform at CSPS, will preview material from her forthcoming album, which she expects will drop in 2019.

“I’m in no rush with this album,” Bowersox said. “I’m not on a label. But I am excited about playing what I’ve recently written. You’ll hear some new songs and some old ones.”

The American Idol alum, who has written and recorded a pair of albums — 2010’s “Farmer’s Daughter” and 2013’s “All That for This” — notes that she has changed her approach.

“I used to chase a dollar,” she said. “I don’t do that anymore. I’m just happy making the music I like to make and not playing out excessively.”

Bowersox is all about making roots rock and spending as much time as she can with her 10-year old son, Tony.

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“I’m someone that doesn’t need much to be happy, and the same can be said for my son,” Bowersox said. “I used to do what I could to bring in more money for him but it’s not necessary. I used to be homeless and I would busk for money. Now I’m thrilled living the quiet suburban life without having a need for things. I have all that I could ever want.”

Perhaps there will be a Christmas album in the future for Bowersox, who wrote the cute and clever “Coming out for Christmas” last year. “I had some fun with that one and I just wrote another Christmas song,” she said. “But I think it’s too early to play Christmas songs. It’s only the beginning of October. But going back to ‘Coming out for Christmas,’ I’m open to loving anyone, who is a reasonable person. I’m open-minded. But another aspect of the song is that it’s about loving everyone. It’s about being inclusive.”

The same can be said for Bowersox shows.

“What I do is not about dividing anyone,” Bowersox said. “I don’t talk politics at my shows. It’s all about harmony, peace and love. I have friends who are transgender and friends who are Republicans. What my shows are about is bringing everybody together. That’s what it should be all about.”

It’s hard to believe it’s been eight years since Bowersox was named “American Idol” runner-up.

“I look back with such happiness when I think about ‘American Idol’ since I know I wouldn’t be where I am professionally without it,” Bowersox said. “But I also know that I’m a completely different person than I was then. I’ve been a single mother/working musician for so many years. It’s taken me a while to get my life in order. But I’m finally where I need to be.”

Moving to Nashville 3 1/2 years ago has helped Bowersox find herself. Shortly after moving to Music City, she quit drinking alcohol.

“I don’t need it,” Bowersox said. “I have so much more energy and clarity and I need it with my son and my career. I’m moving in the right direction. I have new songs and plenty of drive.”

GET OUT

WHAT: Crystal Bowersox

WHERE: CSPS Hall, 1103 Third St. SE, Cedar Rapids

WHEN: 7 p.m. Sunday (10/14)

TICKETS: $20 in advance, $25 show day, CSPS Box Office, (319) 364-1580 or Legionarts.org ARTIST’S WEBSITE: Crystalbowersox.com

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We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

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