Vizztone Label Group
Billy Price was born in Fair Lawn, NJ in 1949. Price became Roy Buchanan’s vocalist and appears on Buchanan’s 1975 album “Live Stock”. Price formed the Keystone Rhythm Band in 1979 and released four albums before renaming his band The Billy Price Band. He has since recorded eleven more albums.
Price possesses a beautiful voice halfway between a tenor and a baritone. When he was in a gospel choir he sang both. Price had previously worked with soul blues icon Otis Clay and they re-united in 2015 to record a full album, “This Time For Real”, on the Vizztone Label. As a result they won the 2016 Blues Music Award for Soul Blues Album of The Year. Price’s last album was the critically acclaimed “Alive and Strange” released in 2017.
For his sixteenth recording Price teamed with guitarist/producer Kid Andersen and recorded at Andersen’s Greaseland Studio in San Jose, California. Anderson and drummer Alex Pettersen are both members of Rick Estrin and The Nighcats recently voted The Band of The Year at the 2018 Blues Music Awards. Andersen assembled the remaining cast of musicians including legendary bassist Jerry Jemmott who has worked with King Curtis, Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles; Jim Pugh former keyboard player with Robert Cray; and the horn section of Johnny Bones, saxophones, and Konstantins Jemeljanovs, trumpet. The fantastic horn arrangements are by Andersen.
The opening track “39 Steps”, about a failed relationship, was written by keyboardist Jimmy Britton who still tours as part of The Billy Price Band; “One and One” was co-written by Price with Britton and features background vocalists Courtney Knott and Lisa Andersen and the lyric “blues in a small café, George Jones and Tammy Wynette”.
Price’s other frequent co-writer is French guitarist Fred Chapellier and “Never Be Fooled Again” is from the two of them; featured is Pugh on piano. Price, Britton and Chapellier collaborated for “Expert Witness” with special guest Nancy Wright providing the tenor sax solo, and Jemmott’s fabulous bass lines.
Price comes up with some very special covers. “Dreamer” was recorded by Bobby “Blue” Bland in 1974. The title track “Reckoning” was written by an American bassist, William Troiani, who fronts a Norwegian blues band that drummer Alex Pettersen used to play in. “No Time” is from J.J. Cale. “Love Ballad” was recorded by George Benson in 1979.
The funky “Synthetic World” was written and recorded by Jerry Williams, Jr. a.k.a. Swamp Dogg in 1970. “Get Your Lie Straight” was written by the late great Denise LaSalle. “I Keep Holding On” is from soul perennial Johnny Rawls. While “I Love You More Than Words Can Say”, written by Eddie Floyd and Booker T. Jones, was a single for Otis Redding in 1967.
This beautiful album from Price that should further establish him as one of our finest soul blues vocalists. If you’re unfamiliar with him you owe it to yourself to get this recording.