Willie Nelson/Ray Price/Merle Haggard Last of the Breed Lost Highway
Ray Price made his name in country-western music with classics including “Crazy Arms” and “Danny Boy.” He’s a stalwart serenader, a classic honky-tonker and was a frequent collaborator with the likes of Johnny Paycheck, Hank Williams and Roger Miller, among dozens of others. And, lucky for us, he’s swinging through the Garden City.
Price’s newest collaboration with Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard is a two-disc compilation of country classics and only these silvered cowboys could get away with its title. Price is the crooner of the bunch, the non-outlaw with his own edge: low, smoky vocals and the slight warble of Sinatra-esque charisma at the height of cocktail hour. Songs like “Sweet Memories” showcase ambrosial three-part harmonies, truly the essence of the album. But when Price and Nelson pair up on standards like “Lost Highway” and “Goin’ Away Party,” it illuminates how grossly undervalued Price’s stock is on the country music market.
Price’s full intonation and impeccable emotional timing thrillingly shine on Last of the Breed, luminosity to be only more evident when, as in Missoula, he isn’t sharing the spotlight. (Erika Fredrickson)
Ray Price performs Thursday, April 19, at 7:30 PM at the Wilma Theatre. $37.