Everybody Having a Ball – Billy Price Band

Apr 2, 2024 | Blog, Blues Concert, Suncoast Blues News, Suncoast Blues Society

Everybody Having a Ball

Billy Price Band @ Cottonmouth southern Soul Kitchen 

On March 29th 2024, Billy Price and his band made their debut in Bradenton’s Village of the Arts and put on one of the best shows seen to date at the venue.

The band set the tone for the evening when kicked off the show playing The Temptation’s classic Can’t Get Next to You, followed by Chuck Berry’s You Never Can Tell. Billy came to the stage and launched a wonderful set of music pulled from this extensive catalogue, and sprinkled in some new material that is forthcoming this fall.

Billy’s band on this tour (Dave Dodd, drums; Tom Valentine, bass; Lenny Smith, guitar; Jim Britton, keyboard; and a horn section with flugelhorn and sax ) expertly backed Billy as he launched into two sets of enjoyable rhythm & blues, blues, and soul. Beginning with I Keep Holding On Billy captured the audience and showed why he is a wonderful entertainer. Billy got the crowd moving by delivering his “signature” song, the Carl Sims classic It Ain’t a Juke Joint Without The Blues.

Billy spoke respectfully about his time touring with Roy Buchannan and performed Nickle and a Nail; and then visited the 2019 recording “Dog Eat Dog” for Lose My Number. What followed next was a highlight. His performance of Mercy from the forthcoming release “Person of Interest” was a powerful, poignant, and memorable performance. This is one beautiful song that touches the heart, and on this night and during this song was Billly at his best.

A standard in Billy’s show is Can I Change My Mind, and tonight was no different. By this time, the audience was beginning to turn Cottonmouth into a dance hall, setting the stage for what to come during the second set. Tyrone Davis songs fit Billy well, and this former number one on Billboards Hot R&B Chart is no exception. The first set concluded with 39 Steps, giving both band and audience a chance to collect their breaths.

Often, between sets in Florida the audience will start to thin out. Tonight, that was not the case. The sold-out show  was packed tight. But that did not deter them – they wanted to dance to Billy Price Band and dance they did.

From the start of the second set  – which featured the band without Billy performing So Sharp, famously recorded by J. Geils Band – the audience was on their feet, moving and swaying to the beat. And they did not retreat to their seats for the remainder of the night. I’ve seen a lot of shows at Cottonmouth, but never have I witnessed the entire audience up and dancing for an entire set.

The songs during set two included: She Checks All The Boxes, Real Time, the wonderful Crying at The Stoplight, and revisiting Roy Buchanan with Can I Make You Change Your Mind. By this time, the kitchen staff joined in the fun and dancing hit a fever pitch to Tyrone Davis’s s Turn Back The Hands of Time and continued with Be Thankful for What You Got. The band wrapped up the set with Expert Witness.

The audience was not ready to release the band, and Billy accommodated with a two-song encore, First, the full band performed Person of Interest. Billy then asked all but keyboardist Jim Britton to leave the stage and the two concluded a wonderful night with a stirring version of Toussaint McAll’s. Nothing Takes The Place of You. A spectacular evening of music by The Billy Price Band.


  • Scott Morris, Suncoast Blues Society
  • Photo’s courtesy of Jim Hartzell


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