Review: Joe Price – Rain Or Shine

Posted on: Thursday, May 7, 2009

JoePricePromo (Medium)


“Rain Or Shine”

(Blues Acres Productions: BAP#2)

To look at the cover of Joe Price’s latest recording you may think he was a Nashville country picker if you didn’t know otherwise – but the giveaway that he certainly isn’t is the steel bottleneck on his left hand – he’s a downhome bluesman with a preference for some ass-kicking, stomping country blues – both acoustic and electric.

“Rain Or Shine” features Joe solo predominantly, with his wife, Vicki Price on guitar and vocals on three cuts – and all recorded live in the studio. Based in Lansing, Iowa since 1982, Joe Price has supported many big names such as John Lee Hooker, Willie Dixon, Homesick James and more as they came through town.

The ten tracks here feature a half-and-half split of vocals and instrumentals, beginning with the stomping “Hornets Nest” – written in his wood shed as he was surrounded by hornets, with his National steel guitar kicking up a storm. The following “Joe’s Guitar Stomp” sees a switch to electric, with a tone as thick as you will hear, and I would imagine one to get the folks up dancing live!

The sad tale of “Too Little Too Late” takes the pace down – more biting electric slide here; before the instrumental “Nellie Bell” – his ode to his National steel guitar. The self-explanatory “Steel Guitar” reminds me a lot of fellow Iowa resident Catfish Keith, with the acoustic slide tone similar – wife Vicki adds a vocal and guitar to this, which rocks along in fine style.

The travelling blues of “Last Stop Now” has a world-weary vocal, with more infectious slide guitar; “Blues On 12” sees him playing a 1958 Stella 12-string guitar, with a rich, almost piano like sound. The houserocking “Beer Tent Boogie Woogie” takes the pace up, and as Joe says, “I’ve played in beer tents for 40 years. This is what can happen.”

The closing “Rock Slide” features the only two other musicians on the album, apart from his wife – her son Keni on drums, and Al Naylor on trumpet – to bring a most appealing release to a storming end. Anyone who likes their blues not too-polished and downhome will certainly enjoy this!


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