Aaron Price has been my pen pal today. I’m not quite sure why — email is weird because it’s easy to get in touch, but strangely difficult to say much of anything. But it got me wondering what it’s like to live: A day in the life of Aaron Price.
Here’s why: The guy is best known as the force behind Collapseable Recording Studio which (especially prior to Echo Mountain Studios) produced Asheville’s best musicians. Hollywood Red, Menage, Stephanie’s Id, Scrappy Hamilton, DrugMoney, etc.
Price is also in half the bands in Asheville. Okay, not quite half, but a whole heck of a lot. He plays with Vendetta Cream and Hollywood Red, and he backed both Woody Wood and Kellin Watson when they competed to be “discovered” by country star Sara Evans at a concert earlier this year. Which, when you think about it, is a bit ridiculous since Price discovered both of those artists long before Evans sauntered in, but he’s way too dignified to pitch a fit. I wouldn’t have been so nice.
The thing is, for all his dallying in the background, Price is a formidable musician in his own right, a fact far too often overlooked. He plays a mean piano, can hold his own on guitar, knows what to do with an accordion, and can write pop-quirky songs to rival ‘70s-era smooth operators Steely Dan. Seriously. I think Price’s song “The Smuggler” is the “Deacon Blue” for the 21st century. I say that with no irony.
Regardless of your opinion of Steely Dan, you’d be remiss if you didn’t catch at least one Aaron Price solo(ish) show. Lucky you, here’s the perfect opportunity: He’s playing a benefit for Asheville resident Mary Ann Bowers, along with cowgirl trio The Buckerettes and jazz-fusion artist Jar-E at The Grey Eagle (185 Clingman Ave., Asheville). The Saturday, Aug. 11 show starts at 8:30 p.m., $7 donation at the door. Info: 232-5800.
—Alli Marshall, A&E reporter