How many of you listen to your bloated iPod on shuffle nearly all the time? I made the move to shuffle a few years ago, because I didn’t have time to scroll through every musical Tom, Dick and Harry when I wanted to hear a tune. Most of the time, I get a wonderful, eclectic mix of songs… at times it’ll be something awful and at other times, inexplicably, it’ll rattle off six Beatles songs in a row… how’s that work?

Then every once in a while, a song will come on that will make you stop dead in your tracks… something amazing that compels you to stop what you are doing and just listen. Sometimes, I’ll have to look at the artist to see who is making my feet tap. Other times, I know right away who it is. Joe Price is one of those artists I recognize instantly.

Joe’s music forces me to stop what I’m doing and listen, smile and tap my feet. It’s a crazy elastic form of old-school guitar blues that sounds like nothing else. The rhythms bounce and hop like a super-ball on caffeine, and at times, it sounds like two or three guitars at once, with a crazed cat-in-a-bag thrown in for good measure… but it’s all just Joe slapping and hammering those strings and layering vibrations and tones over each other into this heady cocktail of joyous musical energy.

I play blues guitar as a hobby, and at times, I listen to a guitarist and go “wow, I’d love to be able to play like that!” That’s NOT how I feel when I hear Joe play (either live or on my iPod)… I know with absolute certainty that there is just flat-out no way I can ever play like that… but the music compels just the same. The crazy tunings, the breakneck rhythms and the growling, dancing bass notes work together to weave a unique and utterly un-copyable sound and tone. No one sounds like Joe Price… not before, now now… probably not ever.

If you haven’t seen Joe Price (and his lovely wife Vicki) play live, then shame on you… look them up and go see them this summer. Buy his CDs and load them on your iPod… support his music and then, one day in the near future, you’ll hear one of his songs come on and you’ll stop dead in your tracks and just smile. And isn’t that what music is all about?

Joe Price’s website

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