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Monday, May 2, 2016

Roots-blues couple at Byron's birthday bash

Monday, January 21, 2013

Come to Byron's in Pomeroy Saturday, Feb. 11 and celebrate the owner of this funky little music pub's birthday with Joe and Vicki Price and special guests Typical Males.

John Price of Typical Males said it best, "Once again we have the great honor of celebrating the birthday of Iowa music icon Byron Stuart with Joe and Vicki Price at his oasis on the high plains of Pomeroy. Dewey and Muffy will be playing with Tim and myself. We'll do our best to heat it up before Joe and Vickie burn it down."

Tickets are $10 and that gets your first drink free and a chance at some of the coolest door prizes in Pomeroy. The concert starts 8-ish, running to 1 a.m.

Over their 27 years together, this husband-and-wife roots-blues team has opened for such notables as John Lee Hooker, Willie Dixon, Pine Top Perkins, Louisiana Red and Al Green. They have released seven albums, beginning with "Joe's 25 Below" in 1996, through their recent independent release "Rain or Shine"- names Best Independent Blues CD and the IMA Vox Pop People's Choice Award for Blues CD of the Year.

Joe and Vicki Price play energetic finger style guitar in the Elmore James/Muddy Waters tradition, a bit rough and tons of fun. Joe has been performing his ruff and tumble blues for over 35 years; a one-man blues tornado who can pack, command and wring-out a dance-floor with the authority of an eight-piece show band. While Price inhabits classic blues standards as if they were favorite shirts, his own deep and varied bag of original music is so formidable that noted Grammy-award nominated singer/songwriter Greg Brown has long referred to Joe as "the Buddha." Vicki Price is a distinctive, blues-belting guitarist who is as earthy, unique and seductive as a greenhouse orchid. Her intuitive, swinging blues style, accuracy and lyrical, light-fingered touch are unmistakable.

An inductee in both the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame and the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Joe began playing in 1960, after his brother joined the service and left him an old guitar. He was never seduced by the hard rock that dominated his youth, but fell in love with country blues.

It was a chance encounter with the late, great Chicago bluesman Earl Hooker, who the young Price caught in performance at a home town record store, that really sealed the deal. "He was unbelievable, that guy--he really flipped me out," Price remembers. "He told me to cut the end of a bicycle handlebar off to make a good slide."

In 1971 Joe had made the move to Iowa City. It was a fertile time and place for the blues, as touring artists connecting Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City barnstormed through. Beginning with the Rocket 88's and continuing with the legendary Mother Blues, Joe played virtually non-stop. In 1981, a pretty young blues belter, Vicki Ewing, captured his attention in Waukon. Vicki was working as the bartender and got up during the break to perform some of her own tunes, the beginning of a new musical adventure for both of them. Growing up steeped in gospel, R&B and blues, she was a distinctive guitarist also at a young age. The dup toured together for five years before marrying, and continue their irresistable live performances in intimate settings coast to coast.