Ray Price: A New Place to Begin

RayPrice_ANewPlaceToBeginCountry and pop from the mid-80s, with unreleased sides

These sixteen tracks date to Price’s mid-80s deal with Snuff Garrett’s short-lived Viva label. At the time, their collaboration resulted in the 1983 album Master of the Art, seven low charting singles and several tracks placed in the films of Viva’s co-owner, Clint Eastwood. This collection expands on the released material with seven tracks that were left in the vault when Garrett’s illness sidelined the label’s activity. Price is in good voice throughout (as is his trademark shuffle rhythm), and arrangements featuring the Cherokee Cowboys and Johnny Gimble that range from fiddle tunes to pop standards. The country songs, including the previously unreleased “Old Loves Never Die,” have withstood the years better than the pop productions, though Price’s vocal on the steel and vibe arrangement of “Stormy Weather” suggests it might have been a good idea to follow Willie Nelson’s lead in recording standards. Newbies should start with Price’s essential honky-tonk and countrypolitan catalogs, but fans will find these mid-career recordings worth hearing. [©2015 Hyperbolium]

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