Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Country, Blues, Pop, R&B, Rock
Enjoyable Texas live set
Sanpete | in Utah | 05/30/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This live acoustic performance has an intimate feel. It was recorded in 1997 at Railroad Blues, a beer and wine/music venue in Alpine, West Texas, out near the middle of nowhere on the way to Big Bend National Park.
Price was one of the leading ladies of Austin music when she made this album. (She recently moved to San Diego.) She was voted Best Female vocalist and packed them in at the Continental Club each week. She put in her time in Nashville, but she found Austin more friendly for musicians, and it allowed her to be eclectic in her style, ranging from folk to rock to straight country to jazz pop. She hasn't tried to break through to the highest levels of national stardom, preferring to keep her sanity and spend time with her daughter. That's probably all for the best as far as her music goes, as she can do it as she pleases.
Price has a fine voice, clear with a touch of country nasality and twang, breathy when quiet. She can put a little guttural gravel into it too. Though there are four musicians on the stage for this performance, it's not your ordinary band. Price sings and the other three all play acoustic guitars, with one switching to fiddle for about half the songs. Sometimes there's something like a bass line (more like a baritone line, since there's no bass guitar), sometimes just a lot of rhythm and picking, sometimes with a slide and some twang. Sometimes they add vocal harmonies. It all makes for a folkier sound than Price's studio albums. Since this is a live recording, not everything is perfect, but everyone seems to be having fun. The sound quality is generally very good, everything clear.
The songs are varied, mostly countryish in some way or other, with a fine blues and an especially fun soul funk (guess which one). Seven of the thirteen songs (the first and last cuts are sounds of a train and the town of Alpine) are by Nashville songwriter Gwil Owen, a favorite writer for Price. His "Burnin' Down" has particularly stuck with me. Three songs are by Nashviller Herb McCullough and associates. All good songs.
The backing musicians are, or were, also stars on the Austin music scene, and were longtime players with Price. Champ Hood, the one who doubles on fiddle, was a founding member of cult favorite Uncle Walt's Band, with Walter Hyatt and David Ball ("Thinkin' Problem"). He played with folks like Lyle Lovett, Jimmie Dale Gilmour, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Kelly Willis, in addition to his own weekly solo shows. He died in 2001, age 49.
"Scrappy" Jud Newcomb was the guitarist for the Austin band Loose Diamonds, currently playing with ex-Faces rocker Ian McLagan (who relocated to Austin several years ago). He plays with a variety of Austin musicians and does his own solo work as well.
Rick "Casper" Rawls was once a sound tech and rigger for touring rock bands including Styx, Heart and Supertramp. When the latter's Roger Hodgson heard him play guitar, he made him quit to take up his own career as a musician. He's played for over twenty years with the southwestern rock band the LeRoi Brothers, toured with Kelly Willis, and has played with many Austin and other musicians, in addition to his solo work.
Rawls is the only one of the four on this CD who's actually from Texas, but all have soaked up and added to the Texas music scene, giving the CD a definite Texas flavor.
So, good singer, good songs, good players, good venue, good recording: all adds up to a good time.
If there are no music samples on this page, you can find them here."
Addiction is fun!
Maria G. Fitzpatrick | Ipan, Guam USA | 06/05/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first became aware of Toni Price through a piece I heard on NPR on my way to work (side note: Thank God for NPR! Death to Clear Channel!). I was immediately attracted to her lean, soulful voice. It has that sophisticated West Texas thing going, where a voice can express space and freedom without descending into a twang. Later, I checked the sound bites from this page, and hesitated before buying the album. I'm very glad I went forward with the purchase. You need to relax and listen through the whole thing to really get it. The best thing I can say about this album is that it has resided almost full time in the CD player of my car since I got it. The second best is that not only do *I* love it, but so do my three kids (they are preteens, and NOT always receptive to anything as subtle as this music!). Try it. You'll like it."
Music to live to
Frederick Rudofsky | East Greenbush, NY USA | 07/07/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a tremendous live album (and, if you write to Toni, you can order the 4 song video shot at the club where the album was recorded). Not only is Toni in fine voice, but her awesome band of Champ, Scrappy Judd, and Casper fit every song perfectly. There are songs that will make you laugh and dance and make love and there are songs that will bend your heart back into place. One song, "What's It Take?" is so soulful and candid that you know Buddy Holly wishes he'd done it. Get this cd and tell AUSTIN CITY LIMITS to get Toni and her band a full hour."