Billy Price - Dog Eat Dog (2019)

Billy Price
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Billy Price - Dog Eat Dog

Billy Price is the kind of guy who is going to do it as long as his pipes allow him to sing, fingers let him write the ideas created in his brain, and his body allows him to tour. Dog Eat Dog, his latest, is Price’s third project since 2015. That year, he collaborated with Otis Clay on This Time For Real, which turned out to be one of Clay’s final projects. Last year, Price dropped the excellent solo album, The Reckoning.

Billy Price - Dog Eat Dog

Billy Price is the kind of guy who is going to do it as long as his pipes allow him to sing, fingers let him write the ideas created in his brain, and his body allows him to tour. Dog Eat Dog, his latest, is Price’s third project since 2015. That year, he collaborated with Otis Clay on This Time For Real, which turned out to be one of Clay’s final projects. Last year, Price dropped the excellent solo album, The Reckoning.

Price’s husky, rangy and emotive voice, and his status as a soul and blues survivor pretty much assures that he is able to attract top flight talent, and that remains the case of Dog Eat Dog. Eight of the 12 tracks on Dog Eat Dog are originals, and one of the covers is, of course, the title track. Price’s originals prove that he possesses the blues writer’s flair for crafting stories out of a metaphor.

He takes image of a man working on a prison work crew and tells the story of how his woman has turned their relationship into a thankless chore on the upbeat “Working On Your Chain Gang,” while the funk infused blues number “Toxicity” likens the impact that someone has on his or her relationships to a poison being injected into the system. Price showcases his ability to expand his vocal repertoire into straight soul territory on the ballad “More Than I Needed.”

Another, blues/funk track, “All Night Long Café,” is a good time number about a 24 hour hangout that includes some in the pocket work on the bass by Jerry Jemmott and a James Brown influenced horn section. Price collaborates with fellow blues men Mike Estrin, Alabama Mike and Mike Zito on the cover of the blues classic “Dog Eat Dog,” a song that seems to gain in relevancy every generation.

I’ve always felt that the most slept on aspect of blues music is the lyricism. Whether Price is working with one of his originals or a cover such as the mid-tempo soul/blues track “Same Old Heartache,” Price shows that blues and southern soul writers are craft-people who whose work stacks up well against anyone writing in any other genre. Solidly Recommended.

By Howard Dukes

 

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