Courtesy Photo

Audiences were introduced to the powerhouse vocals of Crystal Bowersox in 2010 when the singer competed on the ninth season of American Idol. Although she didn’t walk away with the title, Bowersox etched herself into the hearts and ears of millions. Since then, she’s released two records, moved to Nashville, and is now on tour for her third record, a live album called, appropriately, Alive, available June 16. I recently spoke over the phone to the gracious, epically talented singer as she headed down the highway for a slate of West Coast gigs that includes a stop at the Lobero Theatre on Friday, April 28.

Tell me about your new record. I’m proud of everything that I’ve released. But I didn’t feel like any of my previous releases had captured my show and who I am as a live show. What better than a live record?

Although it’s been years since you were on American Idol, how pivotal was it for your career? I would say my life is separated by it ​— ​it’s my life before and my life after. It changed my life in every way possible. I have stability for my son, which is the reason I even tried out for the show. I’m making music for a living, and I’m blessed. I’m utterly blessed in every way.

Are you working on another album? I’m kind of always writing songs. Some artists I suppose write songs for a particular project. When a song strikes, just write it. After a while, I’ll have enough collected, and I can choose which ones make a project and put them together. I will start working on the next release pretty soon.

Is there anything else you’d like to say about the tour, your music, or for the Santa Barbara audiences? I can’t wait to get to California, that’s for sure. It’s funny, you said, “You should have won [American Idol]” … . Someone said to me, “If only you had a dollar every time you heard that.” Then a light bulb came on. At my show, there’s a funky little “You should have won” box. I ask fans to write [that] down on a dollar bill denomination of their choice and put it in the box, which then goes on to charity. My pet charity is type 1 diabetes research, JDRF. The other thing I guess you can say to fans is the chance for them to meet me is about 95 percent. I like to come out after the show. I’m the first one there and the last one to leave.

411 Crystal Bowersox performs Friday, April 28, 8 p.m., at the Lobero Theatre (33 E. Canon Perdido St.). Call 963-0761 or see


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