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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Danny Price and The Loose Change

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Let’srun through it one more time, then listen to the CD,” Danny Price says to his band, The Loose Change. They are practicing a set of mostly covers for a St. Patrick’s Day show at a Riverwest bar known simply as The Pub, and are trying to master a cover of a traditional song, “Sinnerman,” made popular by Nina Simone. It is an intensely soulful, rolling piece.

“When I first heard her version of ‘Sinnerman,’ there wasn’t another song I listened to for a week,” Price says.

The Loose Change—Paul Setser, keyboard, Ben Rousseau, bass, Russ Nadasdy, guitar, and Ken Zanowski, drums—are crowded in Setser’s living room in his secondfloor flat. The drum set is by the couch, the keyboard by the TV and everything else somewhere in between. All the band members have a glass of wine within arm’s reach.

They jam through the song reasonably well, and then listen to Simone’s version. Setser plays along lightly on the keyboard and Zanowski adds a couple of cymbal splashes. They start into the song, faster this time, and add a breakdown where the band claps the rhythm with their hands.

They run through the song one more time and they have it down tightly. Then they run through a few more covers: “Suspicious Minds” by Elvis and the traditional Irish drinking song “Nancy Whiskey,” which is sure to get the crowd singing along.

Price, Setser and Zanowski played the first Loose Change show as a trio on Christmas Eve 2006 at the Circle A. The three also play in the burlesque-themed band Eat The Mystery. Smoky torch singer Angie Livermore sings with Eat The Mystery and often joins in with The Loose Change at shows. Rousseau and Nadasdy joined the band a year later. Price grew up listening to pop music and country, and in his adolescence discovered punk and metal. “Now I try to incorporate all those different styles that I grew up loving into our music,” Price says. He looks and sings like a sailor who just received leave from a ship of the damned. When he sings, his face expresses intense concern, as if he is feeling all of the pain about which he sings.

When the St. Patty’s Day gig arrives, the band members find themselves shoved in a corner, even more cramped than they were in their living room. “I said ‘Power! Power! Power!’” The Loose Change are performing “Sinnerman,” with Price screaming “Power!” over and over while the rest of Loose Change claps and sings “Power Lord!” in response. The crowd is festive for St.

Patty’s Day; everyone is shoulder to shoulder, clinking glasses and enjoying the music.

Danny Price and The Loose Change perform April 4 with Eat The Mystery, Corruptable and Highlonesome at the Borg Ward.