Arts News

Crystal Bowersox is straight but not narrow

A rarity in the American Idol hierarchy, Crystal Bowersox was one of the only women to ever finish in the top two position. The runner-up in season 9, Bowersox wowed judges and contestants with her bluesy, Janis Joplin-like voice and her humble and infectiously likeable personality. Her rendition of “People Get Ready” brought the Idol house down and was voted by MTV as the best Idol performance.

The 26-year-old indie singer will be bringing her soulful sound to the Women’s Redrock Music Festival on Aug. 10 and she’s excited to share her sound with Utah.

“I’ve been to Salt Lake City before, but I didn’t get any time to appreciate it,” Bowersox said. “I am really excited to be back and enjoy the amazing landscapes.”

Bowersox said she is always looking for venues that suit her music and personality and the Redrock Festival seemed like a perfect match. Held with the beautiful red rock mountains of Torrey, Utah in the background, the festival attracts hundreds of women from around the region.

While Bowersox is straight, she is definitely not narrow and is looking forward to the strong queer and feminist presence.

“Gay rights are absolutely an important cause to me. I am in a committed heterosexual relationship and I love him so much. In my mind it makes no sense why we all can’t have that,” she said. “We can’t have true equality if we’re all on different levels. I am so proud to be living in a time where a sitting president has supported that same stance. I really am proud to call myself an American when I see movements forward like that.”

She’ll be at the festival with her guitar and a lone bass player and said the attitude and feel of the crowd will shape her performance.

“That’s the beauty of live music. I love to talk to the audience and get feedback on where they’d like to see the show go,” she said.

Since leaving Idol, Bowersox has released one full-length album, Farmer’s Daughter, and one EP, Once Upon a Time… She’s working on another full-length studio record and said the EP was to keep fans sated until next spring, when the record will be finished.

“My writing process has changed so much since having kids,” she said. “I really have to make time for it now, and I am more likely to come up with a single line and write to down to come back to it later when I have more time.”

The stunningly gorgeous singer will be bringing her melodic country blues to the Women’s Redrock Music Festival for the first time. Tickets and more information are available at

Seth Bracken

Seth Bracken is the editor of QSaltLake

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