Bo Bice Links With Wal-Mart For New Album

Season four "American Idol" runner-up Bo Bice will release his second album, "See the Light," Oct. 23 exclusively via Wal-Mart stores through the indie StartArt label, Billboard.com has learned. First

Season four "American Idol" runner-up Bo Bice will release his second album, "See the Light," Oct. 23 exclusively via Wal-Mart stores through the indie StartArt label, Billboard.com has learned. First single "Witness" will hit U.S. radio outlets later this month.

"See the Light" is follow-up to Bice's lone RCA album, 2005's "The Real Thing." The artist tells Billboard.com, "I enjoyed 'The Real Thing,' but [the new album] is more a labor of love. It's really me getting back to the roots of what Bo is, which is a Southern rock album and nothing more."

Recorded in Nashville with producer Frank Liddell, the album boasts more songwriting credits from Bice, who had little say the first time around. He also hand-picked all of his collaborators, including Gary Nichols and Chris Tompkins, whom Bice has known for more than a decade.

Elsewhere, Bice took cues from such '70s albums as Lynyrd Skynrd's "Second Helping" and Led Zepplin's "IV," with the goal being to create an overall cohesive effort rather than a CD packed with radio-ready singles. "I'm not inventing Southern rock," Bice says of his influences. "I'm just passing it on to the next generation because I learned a lot from the best out there, and I'm proud to be a gracious copycat of great music."

As for his "Idol" past, Bice says even though he's been making music for more than 15 years, he's proud the show helped launch his public profile. "I wouldn't have a career if they hadn't put me out in front of 40 million people for eight weeks," he says. "I owe ['Idol'] a great deal of gratitude."