Some blue-eyed soul
now from a gentleman highly regarded in several quarters. Price has his
own band but the credits suggest they were not party to this recording,
produced and arranged by Swamp Dogg. Nevertheless, real musicians were
used throughout this ten tracker, eight of which are Jerry 'Swamp Dogg'
Williams compositions. The album gets under way with a real romping mover,
'Crack Crack (When Are You Coming Back),' before settling down to swaying
mode on 'Mine All Mine All Mine,' graced by a mid-way sax solo from Jerry
Peterson. Brass features heavily on the toe-tapping 'I Know It's Your
Party (I Just Came to Dance)' and it also makes an effective lead into
the ballad cut, 'This Magic Hour,' which comes pretty damn close to creating
a mid-sixties' Stax sound. Billy may lack the rawness of an Eddie Hinton
or the mellow depth of a Bill Medley, but this white man pours his soul
into this one and he manages to conjure up--via his phrasing--memories
of Otis Redding to an uncanny degree.
five syllables where there would better be four and some philosophical
lyrics into a steady mid-pacer before moving onto 'What Is Love (What
Makes You Think You Deserve Some).' Someone in the studio can be heard
saying "This is supposed to be a serious song here." Once it
gets under way, we sure didn't need to be told: the deep ballad is a stand-out.
'No Matter How You Turn or Twist It' is an almost mid-tempo, relatively
simple item which, for some reason, gets some out-of-place flamenco guitars
mid-way, ruining the song completely. Not sure about the cover of 'Can
I Change My Mind' either but at least Swamp's arrangement tries to do
something a little different. The set's other outside number comes from
the pens of Peter Brown and Frank Fuchs. It--'One In a Million"--perhaps
tries a little too hard to be contemporary and Price sounds rather uncomfortable
on the higher notes. Maybe one for the 'divas.'
We go out on 'Pass
the Sugar,' somewhat old-style mid-beat Jerry Williams which had me double-checking
he had not cut it sometime somewhere himself. I'd heard little of Billy
Price until about three or four months ago and I suspect I'm not alone.
For 'novices,' this is not a bad place to start and Dave Porter at Vivid
Sound should have laid in some copies by the time you read this.