“We came to play, y’all. Are you ready for Lara Price?!”
The drummer jumped straight up from his throne, tucked his legs underneath him as he shot a few feet into the air, and then plopped back down again. The rhythm section had just opened the show with an energetic jam, and his question was met with mad applause and shouts from the audience. We were at Biscuits and Blues for the Lara Price Revue Band, celebrating the release of her new album I Mean Business. It was only five minutes in, and we were stoked.
Out came Lara Price, the blueswoman herself, with two backup singers. The band didn’t waste any time launching into ‘Get It Where I Want It’, the first track off the new album. Price jumped centerstage. Her presence was commanding and warm, and though she was the name on the marquee and the reason we were all there that night, she treated the spotlight like a thing to be shared.
I think it was that collaborative mentality— shared by everyone in the band— that really drew the audience in that night. Aside from the sonic goodness, the sense of community that the band shared was really special to watch. And it wasn’t just that they were all so in sync with each other, but that they invited us in, too. By the time they started playing ‘The Game of Love’, a song co-written by Price and the shockingly gifted guitarist Laura Chavez, the band was in high gear and seemed to almost move as one organism. Their audience was right there with them.
Fast-forward to a couple of songs later, and the drummer D Mar is embarking on a solo. It’s chilled out at first, he was almost flirting with us in the way he tapped a low tom, then a high hat… then he moved on to the snare rim, the drum stands, the… curtains? From there he was off, bouncing around the stage and tapping on anything and everythin he could find. He quickly abandoned the stage and entered the audience, moving through tables and keeping a beat by using silverware, wine glasses, and table legs as his kit. Everyone got a little personalized D Mar beat delivered right to their table, and we couldn’t have been happier. This is the kind of thing that you not only need to have balls to do, but a hell of a lot of talent.
It was a smooth transition back to the stage, D Mar keeping time with the pipes and lighting fixtures as the band reassembles. Everyone watching was simultaneously clapping and drooling over his impressive command of rhythm. Then the band was back, the bassist locking into place and the keyboardist hopping right in. It was a seamless transition, and they absolutely nailed it.
Shortly after, Price was back in full-focus and lets us into her world a bit by relaying her story— she was orphaned in Vietnam at a very young age and adopted by American parents at the end of the war, in what has been called Operation Babylift. “The blues kinda found me,” she summarized. This break in the action, to tell a story so personal in the middle of the musical mayhem, really had me leaning in. It was so genuine and direct that it felt like she could have been saying this to a close friend over coffee. It wasn’t contrived; it wasn’t even looking for a reaction, really. It was Price’s way of letting us into her blues.
Look, it’s hard to find good songwriters who are also talented at their instruments and gifted performers. But it’s not impossible. And you can even have a band of them. Look no further than the Lara Price Blues Revue.