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Review: Rick Price @ Onyx Bar

March 18, 2013 by Josh Forner

A long drive was in store to Cheltenham just following peak hour for this reviewer, to and unknown venue in, what to me, is a bit of an unknown area; particularly for live music.

I’m greeted with a cosy restaurant, which upon first sighting has be wondering if I’ve type the right address into the GPS. There’s no stage; there’s no sound engineer. Hmmm. I guess I’m not really here to review the venue though…

Those who remember Rick Price might be shocked to learn that he has long since parted with a good friend of his: his hair. Twenty years ago, in fact. Price, with his short back and sides, belts into “Not a Day Goes By” and after the first chorus, pauses and adjusts his stance, announcing that he’d much rather face what is the bulk of the audience, perched at a table to stage left.

The strength in his voice has still not wavered; he presents a unique style of guitar playing, incorporating the body of the instrument into a percussion section in its own right, intermittently the strings themselves becoming percussive as well.

He engages the crowd at every possible juncture, reckons we should be impressed that he’s not just performing, he’s operating his own PA & sound – something possibly quite familiar to most of us. The modest crowd is also welcomed to request their faves, as Rick announces that “we are just here to do our thing” tonight.

He takes us twists and turns, as if building a new story with his songs, right before us. In a way, his later, more recent works have always leant towards the story-telling, folk/country roots which Rick Price has since gathered from his relocation to Nashville in the US.

He prefaces his song, “Love Never Dies” with an inspiring tribute to mothers; to selflessness and the realisation of just what it means to love once presence. Price is brought back down to Earth has he blows into his harmonica for the first time and instantly begins singing, in the same tune of the song that is now broken, “Oh no, that’s the wrong key…” He doesn’t panic, rather he a-capella’s his way through the awkward 45-second interlude as he searches for the correct harp, which then after all this has a fault. Laughter ensues throughout the venue and (eventually) after more a-capella saviours; the song picks up where it had left off.

“I can’t sing up there any more,” Price describes that, as a man growing older, he needs to stay back down in sensible territory with his singing voice. All this coming after he’d been “up in the clouds,” as he put it, claiming that at times one needs to make sure that his pipes still work.

The intimate setting suits his showmanship, a charismatic nature which folds into the serious tight and emotional connections he holds with each word sung, and he passes and channels this into you; a rare quality, an unmistakable talent. Like purity in song. He does a beautiful thing at 9:39 PM; he preludes a song with the story, that a member of the audience had written this particular tune, whom asked Rick to record a vocal on the track. The kicker? The song is written for the audience member’s wife, and it is their 22nd wedding anniversary this night. “I Believe in You” is received very warmly by the adoring audience as Price proclaims it to be the first time he has played it in a live setting.

Price’s voice grows more familiar within me as the songs progress, as I switch from Sauv Blanc to a schooner – purposely being sipped at slowly – and I am left comfortable, warm hearted and with a lifted spirit for the remainder of this March weekend – a lifted spirit that only heaven knows…

Rick Price is currently recording another studio album and will return to his home shores for another tour in July/August 2013. His latest release, The Water’s Edge is available now at www.rickprice.com.au through Clarice Records.

The views expressed in this article are the views of the author and not necessarily the views of Melting Pot.

Author Details

Josh Forner

Josh Forner is a folk/pop songwriter from Melbourne, Australia and Virginia, USA. Forner was born in Melbourne on July 2 1988, and spent the first 18 months of his life there before moving with his parents to the town of Reston in Virginia, USA. At the age of 3, Forner and his mother returned to Melbourne, where he has stayed ever since.

Josh sings of love, primarily (wow, what a shock right?), but also on his list of ‘hot topics’ are politics, famine, poverty and - of course – landscapes: the folk writer’s favourite.

He’s played with some of Melbourne’s stalwarts including Timothy Cannon, Bridget Pross, Mr Brady, Pro Rata, Gabriel Lynch & Kyle Taylor, and has contributed two of his tracks to non-profit compilation CDs in the past.

Josh’s repertoire continues to grow. He released his first album, a 10-track LP entitled ‘Leading to Nowhere’ at The Workers Club on May 28th, 2013. Forner has since returned to the studio to begin work on a 5-track solo EP to be released by the end of 2013. Following that, he has plans for album number two in 2014.

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