This is low-down, stompin', moonshinin', hollerin', backcreek blues with mangrove grit and blind faith, the sort of simple but driving solo balls-out working class blues that grabs you by the seat of the pants and sets up a hominy hipshake. There's more than a little George Thorogood here—which is to say, you get a great dose of Elmore James—and Joe Price doesn't stint on the slide one little bit. Joe's Guitar Stomp reminded me of T.S. McPhee's transfusion of John Lee Hooker but there's also a very healthy dose of the same modern primitivism that Kelly Joe Phelps (here) displays.
No matter where you cut the laser in, there's a ton of stomp 'n holler goin' on, and that alone singles the CD out for praise, as the form is dying and desperately needs a presence like Price's. Wife Vicki sits in on three tracks and two sessionmen join her and him on the last cut, but the rest is just Joe, Joe, and more Joe. God knows he fills each song with a lot more swing and slippery slidey shimmering blues than it should be legal for one man to possess. Each tune was written by Price but you'll swear you heard 'em all on old 78s.
Rain or Shine* is on Joe's own indie label, Blues Acres, but deserves to be on the Yellow Dog imprint. It's way the hell too good for even as fine a label as Alligator and much too idiosyncratic for Bullseye. The old Takoma would've been a top choice back in the day, 'cause Kottke, Fahey, and the trad (and in Kottke's case: weird trad) gents would 100% flip for this fare. Honest, rockin', straight from the spine, this is disc that will remind you just why the blues proved to be so damnably infectious, where it came from, and why it will never perish.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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