The Price Brothers Band’s “Live at Yellow Cab Tavern” 

The Price Brothers Band’s release Live at Yellow Cab Tavern affords singer/songwriter Pete Price the opportunity to showcase material from his recent album Department of the Interior. The baker’s dozen track listing includes one cover, a spirited rendering of the classic “The Letter”, but even this rendition stays close to the driving force behind Price’s songs. The recording is as live as it gets, though honest enough to admit that a technical error forced Price to add parts in the studio by musicians whose parts didn’t make the initial recording. No matter, however, as Dan Simmons’ live recording captures the fullness of these songs and provides Pete Price with an even stronger representation of the material than we heard on the studio recording.


This is how it should be. The opener “Diamonds in the Sky” takes flight from the outset and several elements distinguish it. Keyboardist Jeff Tutt and lead guitarist Casey Davis are exceptional throughout the track with each one finding space to show off their skills. The seamless blend of vocal harmonies is another crucial factor in the song’s success. John Lardinois’ violin playing helps fill out the second track “Common Ground” and its comparatively sedate pace set against the opener provides an excellent one-two punch to open the release. It’s an outwardly moodier performance, much more pensive, than the album opener.

“Before I Go” has a sprightly step and a strong melodic base. Price’s vocals elevate the song’s plaintive lyrics and the “looking back” quality blends well with the other tracks. It’s confessional songwriting, clearly autobiographical, but Price’s writing displays a sureness of touch that allows him to connect with his listeners. Few other tracks accomplish this as decisively. “Old Movies and You” is another mid-tempo paean to thwarted love and Lardinois’ violin is, again, a key component of the live arrangement.

He certainly shines bright during “The Crossing”. The pastoral imagery helps convey the underlying yearning and continuing torment that drives the songwriter on, but the impassioned violin puts an exclamation point on everything. It has a marvelous sweep that carries listeners from the outset and conjures visions along the way. Price’s wont for relationship songs continues with “Legacy of Love”, but the track likewise highlights the album’s diversity. It has an almost cocktail jazz or yacht rock quality and that’s not meant in a disparaging way. The smooth and seamless roll Price and the band achieves makes it one of the album’s real sleepers.

The diversity arguably reaches its apex with the set closer “Taste of Freedom”. The brass contributions to the song mesh well with some of the album’s most fiery guitar playing. It’s a combination that concludes the main part of the release with an emphatic statement, but the album’s true finale is “The Letter”, made famous by Joe Cocker, and treated with creativity and respect here. It’s an outstanding final curtain for a release that puts The Price Brothers Band in the best light and focuses on Pete Price’s outstanding gifts. Let’s hope he returns soon with Department of the Interior’s follow-up.

Chadwick Easton


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