Since winning the fifth season of “American Idol” eight years ago, Taylor Hicks has released three albums, performed on Broadway, sung at a Republican National Convention, acted in “Law and Order: SVU” and secured gigs at both Bally’s and Paris Las Vegas. But for him, that was just a start.The Southern soul singer with pepper-gray hair will make his way to the Clearwater River Casino event center Saturday in Lewiston.
It’s part of a long list of his 2014 gigs, including tours around the country, the finale of his Paris Las Vegas residency and a new country album, which Hicks, 37, said should be released in spring.
“The common thread will be my voice and the instrumentation,” Hicks said of the Nashville-recorded album, which features more country music than his previous soul, blues and funk albums. “I’m just really excited, because I’ve picked great songs on this record. I’m going to have a few surprises along the way.”
Plus, he has some TV surprises, too.
Hicks played himself on an episode of “Law and Order: SVU” along with season two “American Idol” winner Clay Aiken and R&B performer Ashanti, who all parodied voice competition judges, much like Simon Cowell. Since then, Hicks has looked to other TV and film roles.
“I’m looking at a little bit more serious roles for next year,” Hicks said. “It’s interesting. Having caught my break on television, I’ve kind of been exposed to that art. It’s always smart to revisit it.”
While performing with Willie Nelson and the Allman Brothers were highlights of his career, Hicks said he hopes to one day collaborate with Paul Simon, one of his favorite artists.
“Those are opportunities; you have to make the best of them,” he said.
Hicks said the Clearwater River Casino audience can look forward to hearing songs from “American Idol,” off his records and some “great cover songs,” such as Elvis hits or “Taking it to the Streets” by Michael McDonald.
“Just some really great live music,” Hicks said.
Tickets for the 8 p.m. Saturday concert are available through TicketsWest outlets, by calling (800) 325-SEAT or visiting TicketsWest.com. Tickets, $20-$60, can also be purchased through the Clearwater River Casino box office.
Treffry can be contacted at (208) 883-4640 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @LindseyTreffry.
-> if you go:
WHAT: Taylor Hicks performs
WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Clearwater River Casino event center, Lewiston
COST: $20-$60 through TicketsWest or the Clearwater River Casino box office
You asked, he answered:
Taylor Hicks fans got an opportunity to ask questions by tweeting Inland 360 reporter @LindseyTreffry. Here’s what Hicks had to say:
@tezero: What is the most memorable gift a fan has ever given him? Does he still have it?
Hicks: A music box that was made from fans all over the world. It plays “Georgia on My Mind.” Oh, yeah.
@NJGirl4Tay: Rumor has it that Taylor is going to be on “Celebrity Apprentice.” Fact or fiction?
Hicks was not willing to release any information.
@bella313: What was his favorite Christmas gift as a child?
Hicks: A set of drums, but I don’t think it was my parents favorite Christmas gift that they gave to me.
@PFlowerstone: What’s the most difficult song to sing? What’s the longest show you’ve ever done and the story behind it?
Hicks: The National Anthem. The longest show that I’ve ever performed, there’s been some shows in the earlier days where I’ve played three or four hours. It just depends on how you feel as an artist and how the crowd responds that determines how long the artist plays.