Written by Eddie Ferranti
Jan 12, 2013 at 08:00 PM
ImageHeaded on down I-45 on my way to Galveston and somehow ended up on nostalgia highway instead recently. Wrecks Bell’s down-home long time musical haunt, Old Quarter Acoustic Cafe, was hosting Toni Price out of Austin.

Price was the first band in A-Town that Rose and I followed a lot in the ’90’s. What a marvelous band she had with “Scrappy” Jud Newcomb, Casper Walls and the late, great Champ Hood. Being up close and personal with that talent was a feeling I felt washing over me all evening again as TP cranked out the whole catalog with even Champ’s nephew, Marshall Hood, sitting in on one guitar. Spooky stuff indeed.

Red pants and crazy hippie ’70’s look replaced the long dress garb that Toni usually wore at her gigs in the past, but she was more antimated than ever. Jamming on air guitar to the other good guitar mate, Willie Pipkin, and even standing on her chair sparking up the packed house! She poked fun at her humidity driven “afro” she was sporting and even embelished sheepishly how she was no songwriter at all, who was basically useless, but had made it so far! Classic.

The lady looks good being a mama of 2 daughters (18 & 35) and had the pipes blazin’ on a ton of old faves like ‘In Care of the Blues’, tender and touching ‘Tumbleweed’, smokin’ hot ‘Like the Sun’ and a goose bumpy enduced ‘Funky’ that really moved thee audience. Price had Austin on its ear in the mid-90’s with killer albums ‘Swim Away’ and ‘Hey’ winning her numerous awards, including Female Vocalist of the Year (1994-97), which all skyrocketed on her 3rd album,’Sol Power’, which was a live album that served as model for her gigs to this day.

Image‘Call of My Heart’, ‘Feel Like Cryin” and ‘Beautiful Garden’ brought a mist to my eyes of days gone by and made me cherish my loved ones even more than I do! The Shelley King tune, ‘Tennessee Whiskey’, was written for the JD swillin’ girl Toni herself and it rounded out a fun “butterflies in your belly” evening.

It felt good to hug on an old friend and have her ask me sincerely at the break how she sounded. Except for quick jaunts to Houston or Dallas, Price pretty much hangs in Austin these days playing “Hippie Tuesdays” at the Continental Club. It is still a worthwhile show and say HEY to her for me if ya go!

Speaking of saying HEY, HMR would like to send our best wishes to Mr. Bell and his sweet wife. He was out with an ear infection this night and there are rumors that thee OQAC may soon be gone due to building politics of some sort. Hope not because the joint has provided a quaint getaway feel for years to us. God Bless folks who dig the lyrics and musicianship like Wrecks does dammit…Peace & out!