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Musicians and couple Joe and Vicki Price return for their annual performance Saturday at the Oak Center General Store.

The blues are back in Lake City

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We may be in the midst of the winter blues, but Joe and Vicki Price bring an easing type of blues as they make their way back to the Oak Center General Store.

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The Iowa natives have been performing at the Lake City-based venue for almost 10 years. They return Saturday Jan. 26.

"Oak Center is such a great sounding room, it is a pleasure to perform there," said Vicki. "The people who come to the shows are there to hear music and they really appreciate what you do."

The music is finger-style guitar new blues in the Muddy Waters/ Elmore James tradition, although a bit rough. The couple's latest release, "Rain or Shine" won them the Independent Music Award for best blues CD 2010.

Joe was inducted into the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame in 2002, the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007 and was a finalist in the International Blues Challenge 2006.

They have appeared on National Public Radio on the Michael Feldman show "What Do You Know." Their flamboyant, distinctive work on the National Steel guitars earned them the endorsement of the National Reso-Phonic Guitar Company in 2006 and the Eastwood Guitar Company in 2009.

"A Brand New Place," which features 10 new tunes penned by Vicki, was released in October of 2008 and was nominated for Best independent release at the International Blues Challenge.

In March 2009, Joe's collection of original songs was released on "Rain or Shine."

They have opened for such notables as Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Willie Dixon, Pine Top Perkins, Homesick James, Honey Boy Edwards, Louisiana Red, the Rev. Al Green, Greg Brown and Iris DeMent. The Prices also make regular appearances at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago.

They have started recording their next CD and hope to release it later in 2013.

"We will be heading back into the studio in April," Vicki said. "We go to Nashville and record with Joe McMahan at Wow & Flutter. We will probably need at least one more trip after that."

Up until now, they have alternated the work load with each release - by composing separate albums. This next album is also a milestone for the working couple.

"We are each writing five songs a piece for this CD," she added. "We are working hard to write in a way that allows the CD to flow and the songs to go together -- it has ended up being challenging and fun."

Their show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $15 and run to $5 for low income. Tickets may be purchased at www.oakcentergeneralstore.com or call 507-753-2080.

At a glance...

Who: Joe and Vicki Price

When: 8 p.m. Saturday Jan. 26

Where: Oak Center General Store, Highway 63, rural Lake City

Cost: $5-$15 based on ability to pay

More info: 507-753-2080 or www.oakcentergeneralstore.com or www.joepriceblues.com

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Stacy Bengs-Silverberg
Stacy Bengs has been a photojournalist at the Red Wing Republican Eagle since 2010. She holds a bachelors degree in journalism and art from the University of Minnesota.
(651) 301-7880
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