Kindred spirits: Bobby “Blue” Bland,
Al Green, O.V Wright
Show: Friday at the Birchmere. Show starts at 7:30 p.m. 703-549-7500. www.birchmere.com. $20.
When veteran vocalist and bandleader Billy Price sings “Sweet Soul Music” on his new album, “Strong,” he isn’t covering the 1967 Arthur Conley hit. It’s a different lyric with a similar message and a wonderfully evocative reminder that Price has remained true to his R&B roots.
But then, in one way or another, every track on “Strong” reflects Price’s unwavering passions. Some prime examples: B.B. King clearly inspires the singer’s emotionally restless version of “Part Time Love,” complete with requisite horns and a pitch-perfect guest appearance by guitarist Monster Mike Welch. “Never Get Enough” salutes its celebrated authors — James Brown, Fred Wesley and Bobby Byrd — with a concert-ready funk workout. There are welcome echoes of Memphis soul and Al Green, beginning with the album opener, Roosevelt Sykes’s mournful “Drivin’ Wheel.”