BILLY’S BACK!! Long awaited East End Avenue features Billy Price and the Billy Price Band on a set of 13 original new songs. Five of these were co-written by Price with Jon Tiven, recent winner of four 2006 Blues Music Awards. Six songs were written by Pittsburgh songwriter Mike Sweeney including the title track. This may prove to be his best one yet!

 

Reviews:

The career of Pittsburgh, PA’s favorite blue-eyed soulman Billy Price reaches back three decades-plus. His first break came as lead vocalist on Roy Buchanan’s “That’s What I’m Here For” & “Livestock” in the 70s. After forming Billy Price & The Keystone Rhythm Band and later the Billy Price Band he’s gone on to record some 7 records of authentic R & B, most notably the Swamp Dogg-produced “Can I Change My Mind?” in 1999. Now Price has joined the Bonedog Records stable for the excellent “East End Avenue” (****). Co-produced by Price and Jeff Ingersoll, the set boasts 14(!) hard hitting Soul, Blues & R & B numbers lead by a superb gaggle of musicians. Master songwriter Mike Sweeney is credited with the crème de la crème here from the melodic “Soul Sailin'” (great refrain!), Staxy Soul/Blues mover “She Left Me With The Blues” and Beachy “East End Avenue”, which could be embraced by those shaggin’ Carolinars. Price and Sweeny collaborate on “Funky Like Dyke, Part 2”, an homage to Arlester “Dyke” Christian of “Dyke & The Blazers” (the original “Funky Broadway”) who was murdered in 1971.Price’s Peter Wolf-like vocal and the appropriately stanky rhythm live up to the song’s title. The Billy Price Horn Section (Rick Matt, Eric DeFade, Joe Herndon plus Don Donohue, Robbie Klein on 2 cuts) is in great form through out. It’s striking what real horns can do for a recording. Price teamed with the ubiquitous Jon & Sally Tiven for five co-writes including the swingin’ Blues shuffler “Keep It To Yourself” and the fed-up “Push Me To My Limit”.

– Dylann DeAnna / Blues Critic / 2005-2006 / www.bluescritic.com

 

‘It’s Almost Time For Me To Go’ exhorts the Pittsburgh-based singer but not before  he rips into the bluesy opener ‘Keep It To Yourself’, one of five songs Billy Price co-wrote with Jon and Sally Tiven for this varied and exemplary soulful 14-track CD produced by Billy with Jeff Ingersoll at the Mojo Boneyard studio in McKeesport, PA. Local song-writer Mike Sweeney contributes six songs including ‘Soul Sailin’’, possessing a similar feel to Solomon Burke’s ‘Soul Searchin’’, the nostalgic trip down ‘East End Avenue’, and a tribute to Dyke and The Blazers on ‘Funky Like Dyke, part 2’. Keyboardist Jimmy Britton penned the light-hearted, jovial romp ‘If You Cook Like You Walk’ whilst a lengthy take on the ballad ‘Faithful And True’, previously recorded by Z.Z. Hill, is the only non-|original track on display. Billy enters Robert Cray territory on ‘The Other Side Of You’ but saves his best vocal performance for ‘The Price I Paid For Loving You’, a scorching piano-led deep-soul gem. On some of his past recordings, Billy has tended to over-stretch at times, but here he hits the target with a mix of verve and restraint. Together with a set of quality songs and a tight, funky band replete with horns and back-ups, this top-drawer release deserves to catapult him to a much wider audience.

Ray Ellis

 

Billy Price and his band of seven support musicians – including three  horn players who are a definite presence throughout – have been excellent exponents of blue-eyed soul for a long time now and this really fine set, recorded at the Mojo Boneyard, McKeesport, PA, continues the legacy. Apart from a fine take on Z.Z. Hill’s “Faithful and True” (written by Marlin and Jeanie Green and Dan Penn), with a great wailing sax going on and “If You Cook Like You Walk,” a strutter with piano composed by keyboardist Jimmy Britton, the rest of the songs fall into two camps regarding penmanship: either Mike Sweeney or collaborations between Price and Jon and Sally Tiven. (There’s just a minor twist to the latter in that the mid-paced “Push Me to the Limit” was the product of the Tivens and Ellis Hooks.) Sweeney’s songs are topped by “The Hard Hours,” an easy-beating tale of a break-up and also boast the “East End Avenue” title track, where party sounds open the drum-beat-driven but relaxed number, a nice downtempo “Only Two Lovers,” and a warm, mid-paced “Soul Sailin’,” where the vocal support brings in the set’s only female sounds, those of Yolanda Barber. Sweeney also contributed a pair of funky items: “She Left Me With These Blues,” which gets a fierce horn attack and a serenade to Dyke & the Blazers with the riff-laden “Funky Like Dyke, Part 2,” co-written with Price. He and the Tivens have proved no
slouches; as well as the rocking “Keep It to Yourself” opener and the chugging “Sweet Mistreatin’ Love,” they come up with three special beauties: the moody, downtempo “The Other Side of You” – even the guitar break fits, though maybe it’s a tad over-long – the beat-ballad “The Big Show” and the real piece de resistance, “The Price I Paid for Loving You,” a dead-slow opus, set against a drum beat and with an effective organ break.

– David Cole – In The Basement (UK) Issue No. 43, August-October 2006



Audio Samples: Soul Sailin':

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East End Avenue:

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If You Cook Like You Walk:

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Track Listing:
  1. Keep It To Yourself
  2. Soul Sailin', She Left Me With These Blues
  3. East End Avenue
  4. The Other Side of You
  5. If You Cook Like You Walk
  6. The Big Show
  7. Only Two Loves
  8. The Price I Paid for Loving You
  9. Push Me To My Limit
  10. Sweet Mistreatin' Love
  11. Funky Like Dyke, Part 2
  12. The Hard Hours
  13. Faithful And True