Joe & Vicki Price

KFAI 90.3 & 106.7 Stage
in The Firehouse PAC Lot:
4:15-5:00PM – Full Schedule

On July 31, 1982 (show time) Joe Price walked into Dar’s Bar to do a solo gig.  The band he normally played with “Mother Blues”, out of Iowa City, was on a break.  It’s not in Joe Price’s nature to take a break from making music, so it became his custom to do a solo show whenever he wasn’t doing band work.  Joe launched into his first set and stunned everyone with his guitar work and his original songwriting talents.  At break the crowd asked if Vicki could play.  Coming from behind the bar where she’d been working, Vicki Ewing took up Joe’s National Steel guitar and played a couple of her own compositions.  That was the beginning of a life time of making music together.

Joe Price grew up in Waterloo, Iowa.  It was there a young Joe Price heard Chicago bluesman Earl Hooker perform at a local record store.  The store hosted Earl, who played along with a 45 record of his latest recording.  Earl played traditional slide guitar, with a metal tube on his pinky and his guitar tuned open.  Joe was blown away and stayed after the show to ask him how to do it.  Earl told him to cut the end of a bicycle handlebar off and it would make a good slide.  Joe went home, cut the end off the neighbors handle bar and sat down to learn to play the blues.

In 1971 Joe had made the move to Iowa City. It was a fertile time and place for the blues. Located on I-80, Iowa City was a natural stop for national touring artists connecting Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City. Beginning with the Rocket 88’s (through 1974) and continuing with the legendary Mother Blues from ‘75 till ’81, Joe played virtually non-stop. During that stretch, the band worked almost nightly, crisscrossing Midwestern bars and serving as the openers of choice at high-profile shows by Muddy Waters, Koko Taylor, Clifton Chenier, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGee, James Cotton and more.

In January of 1983 Joe left The Mother Blues band and moved to northeast Iowa.  He and Vicki immediately began playing their blue roots music together.  Vicki introduced him to venue owners and musicians from the area.  Soon they were performing weekly throughout the upper midwest. In 1987 the couple married, having survived 5 years of touring together.  Over their 32 years together they have opened for such notables as Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Willie Dixon, Pine Top Perkins, Homesick James, Honeyboy Edwards, Louisiana Red, Al Green, Greg Brown and Iris DeMent.  Joe is a member of the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame, The Iowa Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and was a finalist in the International Blues Challenge in 2008.   They won the Independent Music Award for Best Blues CD 2010.  The couple was awarded an official showcase at the Far West Folk Alliance Music Conference 2011.

Joe and Vicki worked with Iowa’s Trailer Records from 1996 to 2007.  Sadly, in 2007 Trailer Records shut its’ doors. Taking the initiative the couple released two CD’s on their home-grown label Blues Acres Productions; in October of 2008 A Brand New Place which features 10 tunes penned by Vicki and in March of 2009 Joe’s collection of original songs Rain or Shine.  Both releases made the top 100 CD’s of 2009 in Real Blues Magazine.  A Brand New Place was nominated for Best independent release at the International Blues Challenge in 2008, Rain or Shine was nominated for 2009. Rain or Shine won an Independent Music Award for Best Blues CD 2010 and also won the IMA Vox Pop People’s Choice Award 2010.  “Rain or Shine” has received rave reviews in major publications including Vintage Guitar Magazine, DownBeat Magazine, The American Music Guide, Blues Revue and the Chicago Sun Times.

Joe and Vicki appear regularly at Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago.  From coast to coast, and from concerts, to clubs, to outdoor festivals, the Price’s singular vision and dazzling, irresistible live performances continue to etch a steady, upward arc


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