Circuit of the Americas
"...After her dead-on portrayal of Patsy Cline in the musical smash Always ... Patsy Cline, Barnett hooked up with legendary producer Owen Bradley for this, her debut..."
"...The conference is, after all, only five days out of the entire year. But that's Toni Price for you, and if she's critical of SXSW, she was just as mad at the Chronicle when Ken Lieck's "Dancing about Architecture" column joked about Kelly Willis and Buck Owens..."
"...Yet there on May 8, all the picnic tables at Little Darlin' were full and every head turned toward the stage, where Price slayed with small-town Americana reflection "Tumbleweed," which the great Gwil Owen penned for her 1995 album Hey. For those who might have lost track, Price's song interpretations are still brilliant – sexual, pained, loose – and never ever by-the-book...."
"...On the public radio front, naturally KUT (90.5 FM) has a load of musicians on the air as well, with Thursday featuring Alamo Suite (11am), Hays County Gals (noon), and J.W. Roy from Holland and Gwil Owen co-writer Kevin Gordon on with Larry Monroe between 8pm and midnight; Friday sees Rick Koster at 10:15am, filmmaker Kenneth Anger at 11am, and Annyland at noon; Saturday on Folkways, Martin Bennett, Steve Gillette, and Cindy Mangsen appear between 9am-1pm, with Gwil Owen and the Dutch act Johan along later between 8pm and midnight..."
"...In her previous outings, Price burst into locals' hearts with her stellar debut Swim Away and the solid sophomore effort, Hey, but Sol Power shines with the kind of back-porch, folksy appeal on which Price established her reputation. Bearing the traditional nucleus of Gwil Owen-penned songs (seven of 13 tracks are by Owen), Price cannily decided to record live at the aptly named Railroad Blues bar in Alpine, where the ambiance comes with the arrival of the 5:19 and the music comes courtesy of Price's band: Casper Rawls, Champ Hood, and Scrappy Jud Newcomb, who set her soaring vocals and sly innuendo in a sparkling framework of chunky guitars and fiddle..."
"..."I wrote 'Pear Blossom Highway' five years ago as an instrumental. I'd made several attempts at lyrics, then sent it to Gwil Owen, who writes Toni Price's repertoire..."
"...The immediate hook of opener "Alright," with its ascending chorus, singles out the younger Hood's compositional gift, and comes right back with the blithe to-and-fro of his co-write with another native Austin spark, Suzanna Choffel, on "You've Got It Easy." Hood's light tenor suggests the weightless delivery associated with ancient jazz long before Gimble takes the lead on "Pear Blossom Highway," which evokes Continental Club queen Toni Price – and not by accident. Composed with the Hippie Hour diva's prime collaborator, Gwil Owen, Hood's swaying country soul just as easily cites Norah Jones, especially followed up with the second of three Gimble leads, "Where Have You Gone," an even better R&B approximation of Price..."
"...Following up 2007's Talk Memphis, Toni Price moves away from the previous disc's titular Southern soul and R&B and skews past the all-roots Texana of Born To Be Blue ('03) by enhancing her traditionally acoustic musical backing with Stanley Smith's clarinet tootle and Riley Osborne's turn-of-the-century piano. In Price's summery voice dwells a songwriter's dream, hitting its peak with deep cuts from the Guess Who's Burton Cummings ("Star Baby") and her personal and perennial favorite Gwil Owen ("Do You Take Me for a Fool?"), plus a tip of the porkpie hat to the late, lamented Walter Hyatt ("Goin' to New Orleans"), and one of this town's fastest-rising stars, Warren Hood ("When You Are Near")..."
"...Likewise, Jesse Winchester's title track, Booker T. and Eddie Floyd's "Sorry About That," and a page from Ann Peebles' songbook "Ninety-Nine Pounds" are matchless and blend seamlessly with homegirl Wendy Colonna's "Right Where I Belong." Yet Price is a creature of habit, staying well within the safety of Gwil Owen's songs such as "Sunflower," "Gravy," and "The Power." San Diego may now claim Price, but with Talk Memphis, Austin gets the credit...."
"...The result is closer to what one might expect from Delbert McClinton or Marcia Ball: laid-back soul accentuating the rich nuances of her vocals. Drawing from contemporary writers Gwil Owen, Kevin Gordon, and Eleni Mandell, and mixing them with tunes from legends like Arthur Alexander, Blind Willie Johnson, and Doc Pomus, Thomas' willingness to take chances mostly pays off..."
"...The veteran Nashville performer is back with Migration, a well-matched companion to the previous work. The 11 tracks are packed with wonderfully crafted songs: the gypsy strains of "The Song," soothing "Light From Carolina," and the powerful "Speak Memory." Migration also proves Olney is as strong a solo songwriter ("Speak Memory") as he is a collaborator ("All the Same to Me" with Gwil Owen)..."
"...She's as assured with Tormé as she is with Dr. John ("Clouds") and comfortable enough to take a backseat to Casper Rawls on "Blue River." Doo-wop complements Price on "Rain Down Tears," while she gets feisty during the shuffle step of "Get the Hell Outta Dodge." No disc by the queen of the back-porch blues would be complete without a tune from Nashville songsmith Gwil Owen, and he gives her three sterling selections: "Nothing but Heartache," "Not Coming Home," and closer "One of These Lonely Days." The production by Price and Derek O'Brien is tender on Champ Hood's "Sad As It Seems," a tribute to her beloved friend and longtime sideman, and yet everything you want from the singer is in Shelly King's "Tennessee Whiskey," Price's voice a sultry purr..."
"...Guest stars abound with Patty Griffin, Lee Ann Womack, Bruce Robison, and Buddy Miller adding vocals, while a couple of Austin's best guitar slingers, Jon Dee Graham and David Grissom, make sure the whole thing really does stay Electric. "Goodnight Moon," written by Will Kimbrough and Gwil Owen, ends the disc with a neon glow..."
"...As ever, Price coats her thick-throated drawl over a variety of closely related, Southern-leaning styles supplied by her mates. This time out, the result is a compact ring of easygoing white-girl funk, lissome Tin Pan Alley larks, Dylanology, requisite Gwil Owen weeper "Something in the Water," and blues based as much on Revolver as "Little Red Rooster." Price and Malford Milligan down in their collective gospel gut for an inspired romp through Joe Tex's "I Want to Do Everything for You," while it's as easy to imagine Robert Cray smoldering his way through "Measure for Measure" as it is to place "Call of My Heart" or "Darlin'" on the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack..."
"...Somewhere along that trajectory, fairy godmother Toni Price attended one of LeeAnn Atherton's famous Barn Dances and heard King belt out "Call of My Heart," snagging it and "Who Needs Tears?" for Midnight Pumpkin. That's as many songs as Price favorite Gwil Owen has on it, and the combination of King's powerhouse songwriting style and Price's enormous popularity has created a most desirable effect, as a number of Tuesday Happy Hour regulars danced happily at King's recent homecoming at Antone's..."
"...7. "Tumbleweed" by Gwil Owen for Toni Price..."
"...Sarah Elizabeth Campbell & the BannedLive Sarah Elizabeth Campbell's backup outfit is so catchily punned, it's a little perplexing that the second and third songs on this KUT LiveSet are titled "The Rain Song" and "The Car Song" -- especially since Campbell penned both (plus set opener "Bluesville") with noted Nashville wordsmith Gwil Owen. Obviously, like Lou "Mambo No..."
"...Price's reputation as an uncompromising vocalist is legendary -- she doesn't tour and prefers her Tuesday "hippie hour" gigs at the Continental to weekend headline slots -- but her exquisite taste in songs is also without peer. Nashville songcrafter and longtime collaborator Gwil Owen returns to bestow upon Price four of the album's 13 cuts: "Anything," "Loserville Blues," "Feel Like Cryin'," and "Lonesome Wind," while Dr..."
"...(clockwise from top right): Cesar Rosas, Antone's, Saturday; Gwil Owen,Ritz Lounge, Friday; Lucinda Williams & Co., Austin Music Hall, Friday; Jimmie Vaughan, Austin Music Hall, Saturday back..."
"...GWIL OWEN: The Nashville-based singer-songwriter is known best in Austin for his songwriting excellence, primarily for all the tunes Toni Price has recorded over the course of three albums. But few artists this or any other year at SXSW can boast this credential: The song "A Soft Place to Fall," which he wrote with Allison Moorer, was featured in The Horse Whisperer and is up for an Oscar this year..."