If you love rock ‘n’ roll and the blues, whatever you plan to do in the greater Allegheny River Valley Region this fall – DO NOT MISS the SOULFUL, WAILING CONCERT of world class RHYTHM & BLUES with the BILLY PRICE BAND opened by SOULFUL FEMME with Stevee Wellons and Cheryl Rinovato on Saturday, November 4 at 7 PM in Emlenton’s Crawford Center, 511 Hill Street. You can get down and dance the night away, with lots of room in front of the band in the Crawford Center.
Soulful Femme opens the concert from 7 – 8:00 PM and the Billy Price Band performs from 8:30 to 10:00 PM. Tickets are Adults $20 and Students $5. This concert will SELL, so be sure to buy online here in advance or reserve at 724-659-3153. Tickets also will be sold at the door as available, by cash or check only.
The Billy Price Band
Officially recognized as a Pittsburgh Rock ’n Roll Legend, BILLY PRICE has been known for decades as one of the finest soul men in the business. His national and international profile dates back to the early ‘70s when he formed the Rhythm Kings, toured as Roy Buchanan’s singer and later fronted the hugely popular Keystone Rhythm Band.
Billy’s album with recently deceased Chicago soul singer Otis Clay, This Time for Real, received a 2016 Blues Music Award by the Blues Foundation of Memphis, Tennessee in the category of Best Soul Blues Album. His band’s fifth CD, Alive and Strange, recorded LIVE and released in April 2017, has “put him on a higher plane” according to Scott Mervis of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
“Being a soul scholar as well as singer, Price shies away from standards and puts his stamp on deeper tracks like Carl Sims’ It Ain’t a Juke Joint Without the Blues, Percy Mayfield’s Nothing Stays the Same Forever and Bobby Byrd’s Never Get Enough.” (Pittsburgh Post Gazette) Billy Price has recorded and released a total of 15 albums, CDs, and DVDs.
Having spent years playing blues, soul, jazz and rock music around the country, Stevee Wellons, Cheryl Rinovato and three other seasoned musicians formed the Stevee Wellons Band and they have been burning it up in the Pittsburgh area ever since. In 2016, the Band represented the region in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, which provided encouragement and inspiration for the group to bring their own mix of blues and soul music to the club and concert circuit in Pennsylvania and record their first full-length CD.
Performing “Blues and Rhythm & Blues for your soul”, Stevee and Cheryl have come together as SOULFUL FEMME with the distilled essence of the larger band. Opening for Samantha Fish this spring in Pittsburgh, they were on fire, as in the Aretha Franklin tune, Since You’ve Been Gone.
This is more than a Blues “appetizer” to open the concert… as in a “Tasting” where every course is the best of the best, you will be transported by one of the hottest new blues groups on the circuit – SOULFUL FEMME – and its pairing with the Billy Price Band – right here in the beautiful Allegheny River Valley!
Billy Price has been entertaining audiences in Pittsburgh, Pa., since the early 1970s. In April 2016, he was officially recognized and inducted as a Pittsburgh Rock ’n Roll Legend at an award ceremony sponsored by the Cancer Caring Center of Pittsburgh.
Members of the Billy Price Band are Steve Delach (guitar), Tom Valentine (bass), Dave Dodd (drums), Jimmy Britton (keyboards), and Eric DeFade (tenor sax).
Billy Price first attracted national attention during his three-year association with guitarist Roy Buchanan. Price is the vocalist on two of Buchanan’s LPs, That’s What I’m Here For and Livestock. The pair toured the U.S. and Canada, playing Carnegie Hall in New York City, the Newport Jazz Festival, the Roxy and Troubadour in Los Angeles, and the Spectrum in Philadelphia.
After leaving Buchanan, Price formed the Keystone Rhythm Band in 1977, which recorded four critically acclaimed LPs, developed a reputation as one of the most exciting touring bands in the U.S., and toured the Eastern US on a circuit that stretched from Boston to Atlanta with large followings in Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, DC and North Carolina. Sustaining several personnel changes, the band performed until 1990. He then formed The Billy Price Band, which currently consists of Steve Delach (guitar), Tom Valentine (bass), Dave Dodd (drums), Jimmy Britton (keyboards), and Eric DeFade (tenor sax).
His album This Time for Real, with recently deceased Chicago soul singer Otis Clay, received a 2016 Blues Music Award by the Blues Foundation of Memphis, Tennessee in the category of Best Soul Blues Album. A live album by the Billy Price Band, Alive and Strange, was released by NolaBlue/Vizztone Label Group in April 2017.
With the Keystone Rhythm Band, the Billy Price Band, and solo projects, Billy Price has recorded and released a total of 15 albums, CDs, and DVDs.
Stevee Wellons and Cheryl Rinovato – seasoned musicians in the Stevee Wellons Band – have been performing together as the duo, SOULFUL FEMME, bringing “Blues and Rhythm & Blues for your Soul” to the club and concert circuit.
Stevee Wellons recalls her first performance as toddler in her crib! Stevee’s mother was a pianist and vocalist and taught her the fundamentals of singing. At age 14, Stevee began a singing group with some of her school friends, performing at a few talent shows and ‘dancehall socials’ in her neighborhood.
Stevee began her professional singing career at 21 years of age performing with her former husband in various bands. She went out on her own performing in supper clubs in the Pittsburgh area and then sang with several popular bands in the city—Shaker, JumpStreet, The Real Deal and the Crusiers, to name a few. Over the years, Stevee has shared the stage with The Dazz Band, Cameo, Howard Hewitt, The Crystals, the Elmonics, The Marcels, the Vogues and many more.
Stevee is also a recording artist, singing lead and background vocals for various artists in Pittsburgh, New York City, Chicago and in DC. She currently sings in Pittsburgh as a freelance vocalist with the Stevee Wellons Band and Soulful Femme. Stevee is a vocal coach and instructor at the Afro-American Music Institute.
Guitarist, Cheryl Rinovato has an applied Music Degree with 2nd major in Arranging and Composition at the famed Berklee College of Music. Cheryl began her musical career as a studio musician throughout New England.
Since moving to Pittsburgh, Cheryl has had a musical career as a professional musician with numerous area bands. She also has done extensive studio recording work. Cheryl has been the recipient of the prestigious Jim Weber Award, given to blues guitarist of the year, three times: In 2012, 2103 and 2015. She also worked with the great Duke Ellington at age 18.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE – APRIL 5, 2017 – SCOTT MERVIS
Pittsburghers have known for decades that Billy Price is one of the finest soul men in the business, and that message was spread a little wider in 2015 when he hooked up with Chicago legend Otis Clay on “This Time for Real.”
Price — whose career dates back to the early ‘70s when he formed the Rhythm Kings, who toured as Roy Buchanan’s singer and then fronted the hugely popular Keystone Rhythm Band — has had a national and international profile before, but “This Time for Real” put him on a higher plane.
Rather than going the studio route, for the follow-up Price went to the place where he’s shined the most, the live stage. Last September, the Billy Price Band — guitarist Steve Delach, bassist Tom Valentine, drummer Dave Dodd, keyboardist Jimmy Britton and saxophonist Eric DeFade — and a few guests emerged from Club Cafe with his fifth live album, “Alive and Strange,” which will be released on Friday.
Being a soul scholar as well as singer, Price shies away from standards and puts his stamp on deeper tracks like Carl Sims’ “It Ain’t a Juke Joint Without the Blues,” Percy Mayfield’s “Nothing Stays the Same Forever” and Bobby Byrd’s “Never Get Enough.”
So, this is the follow-up to the record with Otis. How did that factor into the idea of making a live album?
Winning the award and getting all the recognition I got from the album with Otis, I wanted to sort of build on that and I thought it was important to establish with the promoters and the people who book big festivals that I had a viable operation going, independently of Otis Clay. So, I wanted to really feature my band on this album, and the statement I’m trying to make is, um, I’ve got a really good band, and you should book us on festivals.
What kind of bump did you get from winning the Blues Music Award?
Well, that was the first album I really ever had good distribution on, through Vizztone. That record had just a lot more radio airplay and a lot more recognition from the blues industry, such as it is. The blues industry is pretty big, it’s a niche industry and you have to get on the circuit and one way to get on the circuit is get played on all the radio shows out there. We got a lot of play on Bluesville on Sirius XM. My name has gotten out there more than it ever has, so I wanted to jump on this and capitalize on that.
This is your fifth live album. How did you go about picking the songs?
I always have a list and I started to think about the songs in my repertoire that are recordable, and I’m not sure how I decide what’s recordable or not, but I guess: “Hasn’t been overdone,” “I’d never done it before,” “It would be something people would want to listen to more frequently,” that kind of thing.
So, let’s talk about a few of them…“Lifestyles of the Poor and Unknown” is a William Bell tune.
This is sort of before William Bell blew up. He has a lot of albums he did on the cheap, maybe five or six of them for his own label. I listen to this disc jockey on the internet a lot. Her name is Cassie Fox, she has a show called Soul of the Blues and she’s really great, she’s from South Carolina. I heard her play that song one day and I wrote to her. I said, “Cassie, what the hell was that? I love that song.” She told me it was a William Bell song, and I taught it to the band with the idea that we’re going to record that one day.
Is it almost unusual at this point for you to hear songs you haven’t heard before, in this genre?
Actually, no. Not at all. I’ll tell you about this other song, “It Ain’t A Juke Joint Without the Blues,” which is one of those things that sticks in your mind forever. This friend of mine, Mike Jaworek, is the booking manager at the Birchmere in Alexandria. He and I share a love for the soul/blues genre. It’s a kind of an obscure genre. It’s really under the radar and not many white people pay attention to it. But it’s sort of the old soul stuff from Stax and Muscle Shoals but a lot dirtier in most cases, a lot raunchier, and produced on the cheap with drum machines and fake horns. It’s a really big in a community in the South of mostly African Americans. Most musicians that I know don’t like it much, for various reasons, but I like it, so Mike told me, “You gotta do ‘It Ain’t A Juke Joint Without the Blues,’ by Carl Sims.” It stuck in my mind, great song, maybe I’ll do it, and I was listening to Cassie’s show and she played something from Carl Sims, so I downloaded a Carl Sims playlist to Spotify and on The Best of Carl Sims was “It Ain’t Juke Joint Without the Blues,” and I said, “OK, I’m going to learn this song. This song would kill.” It’s maybe my favorite on the whole album and it’s one we’re pushing for blues radio. I’ll think it will do well.
Are there others that are particularly special to you?
“Something Strange.” I helped Fred Chapellier write that song for his most recent album. I was encouraging him to think Was (Not Was) for the song but that wasn’t quite his thing. We took it into rehearsal and got a little closer to what I had hoped for for the song, and then started playing it live with an eye toward recording it for this album.
“One More Day” is one I got from Mike Schermer, who goes under the name Mighty Mike Schermer, and he plays guitar with Marcia Ball, but he’s also on Vizztone. He’s a terrific writer, so I met him in Memphis at the Blues Awards last year and I asked him to send me songs and that one jumped out.
Also, we added “Makin’ Plans,” as a bonus track. I wrote it back in the Keystone Rhythm Band days. It’s one of the original songs that didn’t make it onto “Free At Last,” which was the original last KRB album. I wrote it with Mike Karr, who played trumpet and keyboards, and it’s just been around for years and we recorded it for “Strong,” the Billy Price Band album, and again, it didn’t make the cut on that one. It’s always in the back of my mind, I liked it and wondered if we shouldn’t have recorded it then, so we remixed it and it was an opportunity to include it on this album.
I guess you could have gone into the studio and done this, but you wanted to catch the live energy.
Yeah, I did, I did. Actually, Bill Wax who used to program Bluesville on XM radio, I saw him a few months ago in DC and he was kind of wondering why we didn’t go into the studio with this. He said, “Gee, I’d like to hear the full studio treatment on some of these songs,” and he may be right, I’m not sure. I’m pretty sure my next album is going to be all original material, done in the studio.