Monday, August 5, 2019

Billy Price's Next Level Soul Album "Dog Eat Dog"

Billy Price has been involved in music for decades. Most notably with legendary guitarist Roy Buchanan as well as The Keystone Rhythm Band. Price has avoided becoming a household name but not because he doesn't have that kind of talent. In recent years he's achieved success with his peers and was even nominated for a BMA for his last album "Reckoning".

His latest album "Dog Eat Dog" is another milestone in a career that is catching fire better late than never. Price is a soul singer who sings old school grooves that have gravitas and swagger. The instrumentation is the real deal with funky guitar riffs, big bold horn sections and talented, soulful background singers. "Working On Your Chain Gang" is a funky tale of spontaneous love sung over a groove straight from the vaults of the Stax catalog. If ever there was a hit single for a sane radio format, this would be it. "Lose My Number" is buoyed by some atmospheric keyboards and smooth guitar licks and a late night sax. Price croons the betrayal like a man truly scorned by a self important woman.

"We're In Love" kicks the party back into session. A big bold horn chart and Billy's master-of-ceremony vocals. "Dog Eat Dog" has a swampy, gritty feel. The title of the song and the theme of the album is one of trying to make ends meet. This is the blues and at times you need words to match up with the musical content. "My Love Will Never Die" departs from the funky soul grooves for a more traditional slow bluesy power ballad. Price shows some great range on this track and really stretches himself vocally. "All Night Long Cafe" is another rock and holler funky masterpiece. "Walk Back In" is another song that could be released as a single. These soul drenched tracks have elements of pop in them that make them truly accessible and singable.

"Toxicity" is another funky ode to toxic language and misinterpreted words. The beat on this will have you getting down and then back up again. A totally tight groove and one of my favorite tracks on Dog Eat Dog. "Remnants" definitely is a decade bending time warp to a funkier place. The arrangements are mostly very minimalist, which allows the listener to absorb all the different guitar and keyboard tones and sounds. The guitar solo on "Remnants" will certainly grab your attention. "Same Old Heartaches" is another hit single in the making. Great vocals both from Price and his cohorts. I can almost hear The Spinners in their prime belting this one out.

"More Than I Needed" has a slightly more modern spin, especially the keyboard sounds but retains a great pop-soul arrangement that will have you singing even if you don't know the words. "You Gotta Leave" wraps up this fine collection of songs with a more muscular bluesy approach to the arrangement. Price proves he's a vocal chameleon and is competent to deliver the goods. The guitar work on this final track will jump right out of your sound system.

My focus on this genre is relatively new. I am becoming more and more of a convert because of albums like Dog Eat Dog. They restore my faith in real musicians creating real music in a genre that deserves a national platform on terrestrial radio. Billy will likely get nominated again for best soul blues album. This gets better and better with every spin.

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