Billy Price is a blues and soul artist who sang for three years with Roy Buchanan. On the new album Dog Eat Dog (produced by Norwegian blues guitarist Kid Andersen), it’s easy to tell that Price took a thing or two from that particular experience and continues to carry it forward.
The album kicks off with “Working on Your Chain Gang”, a groovy tune that is propelled by the funky bass line that will get you moving. The blasts on the horns give the song a Memphis soul feel. The instrumental break features some guitar that is sure to make you sit up and take notice.
There is plenty of funk to be had in “All Night Long Cafe” as well. The keyboard part laid down by Jim Pugh sounds like something out of a Parliament song. The rhythm section and the horns also contribute plenty of funk to the sound of this one, as do the lyrics. Price sings about his favorite barista at the All Night Long Cafe even though she gets him “too cranked to sleep.” It is a distinct possibility that this is the funkiest song ever written about a barista. It also has the distinction of featuring some blazing guitar work by guest Mike Zito.
Soul has a strong presence throughout this album. The horns and the backing vocals in “Same Old Heartaches” are right out of the Motown songbook while Price’s vocals include a fair amount of shouts that have long been a part of soul music. “We’re in Love” feels every bit like a song by Booker T and The MGs from the organ to the horns and the walking bass line.
Of course no soul album is complete without a song about cheating. “Remnants” is a slower tempo song with fairly spare instrumentation for the most part. The guitar cooks with an almost psychedelic sound in the instrumental break. Throughout the song, the narrator reveals the evidence he’s found that his partner is cheating. The one that hits hardest is when he mentions men’s shoes in the partners browsing history. He sings, “My birthday’s in November and Size 12 don’t fit me.”
You could call this a blues record or a soul record, and you wouldn’t be wrong. There is plenty of both throughout the album although the soul seems more prominent. No matter, how you classify it, this is an album that will make you feel something. Dog Eat Dog (Gulf Coast Records) will be available everywhere on August 2. Order your copy here.