Born in Nigeria to an English mother and an American father, Price lived in the Ivory Coast, Taiwan, Hong Kong and London before his family settled in the San Francisco Bay area. Though he has always loved music, banging out tunes on the family piano in his youth, it remained a hobby until graduate school at Oxford University. “I thought I would become a high school history teacher,” he recalls.
Instead, after returning from England, Price sent his demos to his old roommate from college, PETE FRANCIS of the hugely successful independent band DISPATCH . Francis urged Price to make a record of his own, and Price soon found his teaching plans permanently derailed. “We went into this Rhode Island studio with a thought that we would make a three-song demo,” Price says now. “We wound up recording eleven songs that day. Instead of having a demo, I had a record. Then I thought, ‘Well, maybe I’ll just tour a little and see what happens. And when I did, I felt like I was connecting with people. For me, songwriting works best when you’re able to convey some emotional truth and you connect with someone.”
The would-be demo tracks Price recorded that day in Rhode Island form the heart of ‘ Night Opens’, the ten-song debut he released himself in 2001 produced by Francis and Dispatch producer JACK GAUTHIER. Price took to the road to promote the album, putting 40,000 miles on his van within five months. A copy of Night Opens found its way to Geffen Records in 2003, and Price recorded Miles From Anywhere for the label with producer Andy Zulla and Gauthier that winter. “Miles from Anywhere was more diverse, both musically and thematically. My first record was about a bad breakup, and the songs feel rooted in one place. “Miles” is about a lot of different things.” Geffen also featured Price’s ”I’m On My Way” on the SHREK 2 SOUNDTRACK.
Signing with Geffen afforded Price the opportunity to put together his “dream band,” The Foundation. "I always admired the singer/songwriters who stood out in front of these amazing rock bands, like Springsteen and the E Street Band, or Petty and the Heartbreakers. The Foundation seemed like the perfect name for a band that would not only support the songs but create something entirely... better." Combining a West Coast rhythm section with East Coast soloists, The Foundation gives Rich’s work a vintage, earthy bedrock.
It is here that Price’s journey hit the same fork in the road that so many artists face. Geffen pulled Miles From Anywhere from their schedule just weeks before release. Happily, Geffen let Rich take the record with him, and San Francisco radio station KFOG sponsored a special pre-release edition and put the band on their Local Artist compilation. “There was support at KFOG right from the beginning, and leaving Geffen didn't make a difference to them. They're a great station and brave enough to play songs by artists they believe in. That's rare." All of Rich’s music is now artist-owned and available on Itunes. Eager to capture their new material, Rich and the Foundation went into the studio with Zulla in November of 2004 and banged out the twelve tracks that comprise All These Roads in under a week. Holed up together in upstate New York, the band reached new heights and further expanded their musical vocabulary. “It’s the sound of a great band doing what they do,” says Price. “We wanted it to sound like what we generate on stage these days, and I feel like we pulled it off.” The album features the same driving rock singles and thoughtful ballads that peppered Miles From Anywhere, as well as more experimental numbers like the title track. Written as a band in a Boston rehearsal studio, the seven minute track features some of Rich’s most plaintive vocals over some furious improvisation.
Rich’s music is more catchy, more muscular, than anyone raised on the strummy delicate male singer-songwriters of the past generation might reasonably expect. Tracks like “I'm On My Way” and “Queen B” are driving, melodic rock that sound spacious and intimate, confessional and universal. As the band gears up for another touring season, look for the 'live in studio' record, and a new, more intimate record of Rich's new tunes in 2006.