13 Songs, 42 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Her assertive yet tender vocals and folk-influenced songwriting make Crystal Bowersox's major-label debut Farmer’s Daughter stand out from the pack as well. More than most American Idol alumni, Bowersox radiates authenticity — there’s real angst and desire in her tales of growing up in rural Ohio. From the angry title track to the reflective “Holy Toledo” and the urgent “On the Run,” she conveys the spirit of a yearning soul with believable passion. Bowersox is able to celebrate the joys of classic pop-culture in “Ridin’ With the Radio” as well as deliver heartfelt romantic balladry in “Mason,” a duet with husband Brian Walker. There’s a late-‘60s hippie vibe to many of these tracks, with “Speak Now” conjuring up flashes of the Band and a cover of the Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” rekindling the fires of the protest era. With “Arlene,” Crystal offers a character study of a tough, resolute woman that could serve as her own personal anthem. Bowersox definitely scores impressively with this release.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Her assertive yet tender vocals and folk-influenced songwriting make Crystal Bowersox's major-label debut Farmer’s Daughter stand out from the pack as well. More than most American Idol alumni, Bowersox radiates authenticity — there’s real angst and desire in her tales of growing up in rural Ohio. From the angry title track to the reflective “Holy Toledo” and the urgent “On the Run,” she conveys the spirit of a yearning soul with believable passion. Bowersox is able to celebrate the joys of classic pop-culture in “Ridin’ With the Radio” as well as deliver heartfelt romantic balladry in “Mason,” a duet with husband Brian Walker. There’s a late-‘60s hippie vibe to many of these tracks, with “Speak Now” conjuring up flashes of the Band and a cover of the Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” rekindling the fires of the protest era. With “Arlene,” Crystal offers a character study of a tough, resolute woman that could serve as her own personal anthem. Bowersox definitely scores impressively with this release.

TITLE TIME
3:26
3:18
4:09
3:51
3:30
3:13
3:23
3:09
4:47
3:34
3:18
2:55

About Crystal Bowersox

Taking cues from her favorite songwriters -- including Melissa Etheridge, Janis Joplin, and Sista Otis -- Crystal Bowersox brought a relaxed, folksy vibe to the ninth season of American Idol. Although she auditioned for the show in Chicago, Bowersox grew up five hours east in Elliston, Ohio, a small town with fewer than 100 residents. She began writing songs as a ten-year-old and, by her early teens, had formed a band with her brothers. Dubbed “Oldinuph” -- a name that poked fun at their own adolescence -- the siblings played shows throughout Ottawa County for several years, with Bowersox writing most of their original material. She eventually moved to Chicago at the age of 17, looking to pursue her career in a bigger city.

Bowersox spent five years in Chicago before moving back home to give birth to her son, Tony. She continued performing in local venues, though, and auditioned for American Idol during a weekend trip to Chicago in 2009. Although her blonde dreadlocks and earthy vocals made her a rarity among most Idol contenders, Bowersox quickly became an audience favorite, breezing through each round of the competition with performances of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” “Me and Bobby McGee,” and other rootsy songs. Following Siobhan Magnus' elimination in early May, Bowersox was the only female contestant left, and she eventually finished as the runner-up to American Idol champion Lee DeWyze. Her debut album, Farmer's Daughter, appeared later that year. Farmer's Daughter received a standard post-Idol media push, but the album failed to turn into a hit. The following year, RCA records went under a restructuring that left Bowersox without a record label. In 2012, she signed with Shanachie Records and the label teamed her with producer Steve Berlin (best-known as a member of Los Lobos), and the resulting record, All That for This, showed up in March of 2013.

~ Andrew Leahey

  • ORIGIN
    Toledo, OH
  • GENRE
    Pop
  • BORN
    August 04, 1985

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