Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Joe Price "Rain Or Shine"
Joe Price's cd "Rain Or Shine" should be in the hands of every bottleneck slide guitar blues lover--and every slide guitar blues student, and every blues lover. This guy lays it down with passion and exuberance and taste. He has been playing the blues in and around Iowa for over 35 years, beginning with the Rocket 88s (through 1974) and continuing with Mother Blues (from 1975-1981) opening shows for Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Koko Taylor and a host of others. He reminds me of Bernie Pearl and Geoff Achison--really good guitar players who have paid their dues for years and years despite never getting their props, players that the national media have never heard of, players who can and do take the stage and bring the real-deal blues out of a lifetime of experience and give their listeners a joyous good time with playing that is always new, always old, but most of all true to life. Price should be wayyyyy more well know than he is. So what if his singing voice reminds me a little bit of Leo Kottke? Blues is not about notes, it's about FEEL and LIFE. On this disc Joe, along with his wife Vicky on vocals and second guitar, brings old-school blues to clattering, rocking, screeching LIFE, built around that acoustic and/or resonator guitar slide sound, full of joy and lament, alternating between instrumentals and vocals. Highlights for me include the songs "Steel Guitar" and "Blues On Twelve" and "Beer Tent Boogie Woogie." But my favorite song is the last one, "Rock Slide," when you actually get to hear what Joe & Vicky can do working with a band--and Keni Ewing on drums and Al Naylor on trumpet really add a funky spice to the proceedings. I hope next time out the whole disc is a full band outing!
It all makes me wonder--why does this guy languish in relative obscurity while we get a seemingly endless parade of crap singers on the radio?
You can buy Joe Price's cd at http://www.cdbaby/cd/joeprice4