Billy Price, |
East End Avenue
Unlike the Delta, Nashville and Chicago, Pittsburgh isn't a place normally equated with the blues.
That may change if Pittsburgh soul singer Billy Price has his way. Price, who has been singing since high school, gained national attention in the 1970s when he teamed up with blues guitarist Roy Buchanan to tour the U.S. and Canada. They played gigs at Carnegie Hall, the Newport Jazz Festival and other premier spots.
Price, "the blue-eyed soul man," formed his own band in 1990 and they have since become an institution in Pittsburgh as well as all over the east coast.
East End Avenue features 14 songs, 13 of them original compositions. Price wrote five of the songs with Jon Tiven, winner of four 2006 Blues Music Awards. Jimmy Britton, the band's keyboard player, wrote another song, "If You Cook Like You Walk" (one of my favorites on the album), and six more were penned by Pittsburgh songwriter Mike Sweeney.
Price belts a song with energy and emotion, especially on songs like "She Left Me With These Blues," "Push Me To My Limit" and "The Hard Hours."
Other members of the band are David Ray Dodd, drums; Lenny Smith, guitar, background vocals; Paul Thompson, bass; Jimmy Britton, keyboards and background vocals; Rick Matt, tenor and baritone sax; Eric DeFade, tenor sax; and Joe Herndon, trumpet. Providing background vocals on some tracks are Yolanda Barber, Bob Packman, Pete Hewlett, Jeff Ingersoll and D.J. Kichi.
by John R. Lindermuth