ALIVE AND STRANGE
FEAT. BILLY PRICE BAND
VIZZTONE LABEL GROUP/NOLA BLUE VT-NB003
IT AIN’T A JUKE JOINT WITHOUT THE BLUES–LIFESTYLES OF THE POOR AND UNKNOWN–SOMETHING STRANGE–ONE MORE DAY–NOTHING STAYS THE SAME FOREVER–NEVER GET ENOUGH–WHAT HAVE I DONE WRONG–LICKIN STICK–R. M. BLUES–MAKIN’ PLANS
Pittsburgh’s bona fide Rock And Roll Legend might be best-known to long-time fans as Roy Buchanan’s featured vocalist, going back to the Seventies. More recently, Billy Price recorded “This Time For Real,” with Otis Clay, released to high praise everywhere in 2015. His latest set, for the Vizztone Group under the Nola Blue imprint, is “Alive And Strange,” recorded live at Club Cafe’ in front of an amped-up hometown crowd. The eleven cuts are a Duke’s mix of originals and covers that come at you just like an old-school funk, blues, and R & B revue show.
Billy is backed by a topnotch group of musicians, including a monster horn section that breathes high-octane energy into this incendiary set. Check out the horn and keys punch over Billy’s vocal on the Godfather’s “Never Get Enough of that fine foxy thing,” and his burnin’ take on Magic Sam’s West Side anthem to a lost love, “What Have I Done Wrong,” with Steve Delach breakin’ it down on guitar, and Matt Ferrrero on sax.
Billy gets into a reflective mood on the William Bell chestnut, “since you been gone, I’m livin’ the Lifestyle Of The Poor And Unknown,” and then everybody gets in a breezy mode with an uplifting cut asking a lover to “hold on for One More Day.” The set proper closes with a cut recorded at Carnegie Mellon University School Of Music from December 2012, and it’s a killer. “Makin Plans” finds Billy involved with the wrong girl, who, “while we were makin’ love, you were makin’ plans” for her own agenda!
We had two favorites, too. Leading off the live show is a shout-out to blues clubs everywhere, where you might “have a crap game in the back,” but “It Ain’t A Juke Joint Without The Blues!” And, everybody gets a solo on the live show closer, a “solid send-up” of Roy Milton’s “R. M. Blues.”
Billy Price is a powerhouse vocalist and his band can bring the heat with the best of ’em. Enjoy them in their natural element, in a live setting, with “Alive And Strange!” Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.