‘American Idol’ winner playing a Bob Seger tribute show at the North Charleston Distillery | Charleston scene

Bob Seger’s ninth studio album “Night Moves” was released in 1976 as a sentimental summer hangover record full of familiar feelings and steeped in blues rock and roll.

Exactly 30 years later, Taylor hicks won the fifth season of the “American Idol” singing contest show, beating fellow favorites Chris Daughtry, Kellie Pickler and Katharine McPhee with her covers of the blues, rock and pop of the Seger – Bruce era Springsteen to Elton John.

Now he’s playing a tribute show in North Charleston in honor of the ’76 album which helped inspire his love for music. Hicks will perform the outdoor concert at Firefly Distillery June 12.

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“I grew up studying Bob Seger and learning to write very rootsy songs,” said the former “Idol” champion. “It’s just his thing. As a songwriter, a lot of my songs over the years have lent themselves to that sort of thing as well. It makes sense all around.”

Hicks, who last performed in Charleston over half a decade ago when he served with the North Mississippi All Stars at Home For, bounced between the tribute performances of Van Morrison, Joe Cocker and Bob Seger – a trifecta that blends with his singing style.

His original music has been on the back burner, at least as a studio album, for over a decade. Hicks’ latest record, “The Distance,” came out four years after winning “American Idol” and sold 13 times fewer copies than his eponymous platinum album which was still spinning round in a circle. new TV show in 2006.

As Kellie Pickler toured with Taylor Swift and the Rascal Flatts, and Chris Daughtry cut his first name off and formed a popular traveling rock band, Hicks’ label abandoned him and he played “Teen Angel” in comedy. traveling musical “Grease”.

“We all knew at that point that ‘American Idol’ was ultimately going to lead us to a long career,” Hicks said, saying the label’s downfall was a mutual decision. “But being able to navigate all of these waters is tricky. Fortunately, it’s a marathon for me and not a sprint.”

Hicks hasn’t stopped playing music the whole time. But in addition, he adopted other interests.

Among them was the acting profession, something he was passionate about and which he began to follow after his crash course in the entertainment world behind the scenes of “Idol”.

“I always had a vision very early on to be an artist, but I really didn’t know what that necessarily meant,” Hicks said.

Food also joined his list of passions when he co-owned a barbecue in Birmingham, Alabama.

Saw’s Juke Joint’s Sweet Tea Fried Chicken Sandwich gives Hicks as much joy as strumming his guitar or adopting a character on camera.

“Chik-fil-A, eat your heart!” Hicks proclaimed his favorite food at the restaurant.

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He said a real appreciation for food emerged on these early tours after “American Idol”.

“When you’re on tour with a band, you also do food tours,” Hicks said. “They go hand in hand.”

Promoting the barbecue is a bit like promoting hit songs, he added, and it doesn’t hurt that live music is a big part of Saw’s – “a feast for the soul, ears and palate “.

Hicks is racing to take major action in 2021.

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He has a role in the upcoming movie “Stars Fell on Alabama” and has finished recording a brand new album in Zac Brown’s studio. South Land Nashville.

“It’s kind of like Chris Stapleton and Jackson Brown have a baby,” Hicks hinted at his sound on the next album. “It’s better than any record I’ve made, and it took me 10 years to do it.”

One of his original new favorites, “Six Strings and Diamond Rings,” will likely make its way into the Firefly set list, Hicks said.

Reach Kalyn Oyer at 843-371-4469. Follow her on Twitter @sound_wavves.

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