Vicki Price

A Brand New Place

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The married-couple team of Vicki Price and Joe Price serves up a unique brand of electric and acoustic-style blues that recalls both a rural and urban mindset. Vicki Price sings exclusively on her own for this program of her original songs, with a boondocks girl's innocence and a no-nonsense attitude recalling icons like the tough gals of the 1920s and '30s, as well as more contemporary singers such as Bonnie Raitt and Janiva Magness. With only drummer Kevin Ewing for rhythmic support, Vicki Price plays the National Radio-Tone or ResoLectric guitar, while Joe Price is on the ResoRocket or Greg Bennett Avion guitar, making for a twangy, resonant, at times slide glissando sound (recorded live on 2" tape mostly in Nashville, TN, and some in Cedar Falls, IA) that is half country, half metropolitan. This is for the most part good-time, down-home music, with old-time themes updated to contemporary terms. A loose slide guitar identifies the title track as an offshoot of something Hound Dog Taylor would have done; the hopped-up "Dancin' Shoes" is more happy than sad, replete with an eBay reference and seeing the face of Jesus in a piece of bread; while the hard-rocking but steady "Drinkin' Man Blues" smacks of a tune from Jimmy Reed's book, though Vicki Price's man is six hours late and three sheets to the wind. Trumpeter Al Naylor adds a bit of jazz to the mix on "Goodbye Party," while the typical on-the-porch jam "Real Good Time" is as central to the core of what the Prices do than anything else. Two solo tracks -- the inwardly selfish gold digger's song "I Need a Lot of Money" and the deep "Drifter" -- show that Vicki Price is quite able to make it on her own, both musically and in independent living. She's charming in a raw way, much like many people who never claim outright sophistication. Yet there's an air of class and dignity surrounding this date, as the confluences of tradition and modernity coalesce and sometimes clash, but in the end produce some compellingly unique blues standing apart from the crowded, loud electric guitar-based arena. This recording has been nominated for several awards, including Best Blues CD by the Independent Music Awards and the Blues Forum in The Netherlands, justifiably so because it is excellent from top to bottom.

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