Toni Price Reviewed
Toni PriceMidnight Pumpkin (Antone's)
Can such a thing as a casual Toni Price fan exist? Given the fervid nature of her devoted Hippie Hour following, you wouldn't think so, but consider new release Midnight Pumpkin evidence to the affirmative. Her fifth studio album, Pumpkin is steeped in Price's considerable strengths of voice as well as the clear-headed musical visions of her longtime musical collaborators, including Derek O'Brien, Scrappy Jud Newcomb, Casper Rawls, and Champ Hood. 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. With enough musical muscle for longtime devotees and abundant charm for first-timers, Price, who also co-produced Pumpkin, has put together an album that should only increase her Madonna-like hold on the hearts and minds of South Austin, USA.