Rhett Price
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Rhett Price

Upton, Massachusetts, United States

Upton, Massachusetts, United States
Band Pop Acoustic

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Not long ago, violinist Rhett Price decided he wanted to make a career of busking beneath Boston’s streets, performing songs on the platforms of various MBTA train stations after realizing that the impromptu shows could bring in a steady flow of cash from commuters.

But now, Price has taken his talent above ground by performing for the likes of Rob Gronkowski and John Henry, and he hopes to keep the momentum going as he starts to pick up shows at local venues.

In April, Price and fellow former Berklee School of Music student Josh Knowles launched a video of the duo playing a Taylor Swift cover for customers taking the T. After the video was picked up by national online outlets like Huffington Post, requests to play at spaces locally began to crop up more frequently.

When the video of Price and Knowles playing on the T platform received tens of thousands of views, he received a “vague” Facebook message on his fan page from an agent asking if he would be interested in playing a private party for a “big name athlete.” Without much to go on, Price said he turned down the offer. But the agent sending out the invite was persistent, he said. “The lady booking it then laid out all her cards and said it was for Rob Gronkowski, but the problem was, I grew up in Texas and wasn’t sure who he was, so I still said no,” he said. “I Googled him and just laughed … I’m probably the only person in the city who wouldn’t have known him before I met him! So I told her I could do it, and it was a blast.”

Price said that, while most people know Gronkowski to be a party animal, the night with the Patriots player and his brothers was “inspirational” as he sat with them and heard stories about their careers and about Gronkowski’s charity organization, the Gronk Nation Youth Foundation.

Besides getting to spend time with the Gronkowskis at a private party, the event led to another invitation that was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and one that Price said he still can’t believe happened. While performing, someone at the party approached him and asked if he would be willing to do a solo show on Red Sox owner John Henry’s yacht. “The yacht was nuts. I don’t think I’ve ever touched anything so valuable, but more than that, I don’t think I’ve ever met such successful people with such down-to-earth, humble attitudes,” he said, specifically mentioning Henry’s wife, Linda Pizzuti.

Following the performance, Price was given free tickets to the Red Sox game that night and was escorted by a private car to the game. “I’ve been really lucky and really blessed,” he said.

Over the weekend, Price launched a brand new video of him playing a cover of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Can’t Hold Us,” on the Boston Common, a few days ahead of his first on-stage performance at the Middle East in Cambridge. In two days, the video had more than 10,000 views and counting. ”I’ve always wanted to perform for a living, and it’s starting to happen,” he said, adding that he is working on his first solo album and has deals lined up for other private events as well as a new partnership with a “major” apparel label he couldn’t mention. “And that’s completely [because of] the people who see me playing and ask for a card, throw a dollar in, or come to my shows … because of them, my dreams have started to become reality.” - Boston Magazine


In a sea of off-key wailers and tin can drummers, there are the select subway performers who actually blow our minds.

In the video above Rhett Price and Josh Knowles, who simply call themselves the Subway Violinists, expertly perform Taylor Swift's pop hit "I Knew You Were Trouble" in a Boston train station.

"We started playing it because someone had requested the song on my Facebook page," Price told The Huffington Post via email. "And then we would finish it and someone would say, 'play it again!' I knew pretty quickly that this would be a favorite, next to our Led Zeppelin arrangements."

The angsty teen ballad filled with dubstep beats is surprisingly catchy when played on classical instruments. What do you think? See more commendable busking performances in the slideshow below: - Huffington Post


Age: 24

Hometown: Brighton by way of Greenwood, Texas

Think of: A mad violinist with roots in Texas country, a background in saxophone, and some training at Berklee College of Music to boot. Price’s epic stylings of contemporary songs have saved him from the rough days where he slept on park benches and friend’s kitchen floors, and helped him book private parties at venues like New York’s elite Core Club.

What caught our eye: Price’s cover of Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble,” played on his violin, at Boston’s South Station T stop. With Price accompanied by friend and roommate Josh Knowles, also on violin, the video premiered in April, quickly picked up traction, and exploded after the Huffington Post gave Price some love. It now has just under 1 million views.


Light-bulb moment: “I was playing a show in Texas, and at sound check I jokingly started playing ‘Kashmir’ by Led Zeppelin, and the band’s bass player started playing with me and it was so sick, it felt so awesome. Everyone in the venue started hollering. I thought, ‘If they liked it, surely they’re not the only people on earth who’ll like it.’ ”

Biggest thrill: “I played [Crude Fest] which had 20,000 people at it in my hometown, I looked out and saw all these kids from my high school and they were like ‘Dude, no way,’ and it was just a sea of people.”

Biggest surprise: “The biggest surprise was when I played my show at the Middle East actually. It wasn’t sold out but it was pretty packed. Over 100 people showed up and it was on a Monday night.”

Inspired by: “Pharrell Williams is a big one actually. I have a lot of posters in my room and one is by Pharell and it says, ‘Be so good, they can’t ignore you.’ Pharrell and I, weird comparing myself to Pharrell, but a lot of my aspirations are in line with him. You can tell by his Twitter feed and Facebook feed that he’s doing everything he can to encourage others to pursue their dreams, which is my main goal outside of being a musician.”

Aspires to: “I want to continue to write and record albums and to tour the world, hopefully internationally. I’ve been working with a graphic designer from Seattle, and I’ve got a few designs, and I want to start a clothing line beginning with my touring merch line. I’m working with a jewelry designer on a skeleton key necklace that’s custom-made that I wear. I also eventually want to open up a music venue.”

For good luck: “I do always listen to music right before I go on. It changes, but most of the time it’s my favorite band, called the Maine. I listen to them right before I go on and it kind of pumps me up. I look up to them a lot.”

What people should know: “What sets me apart? I’m a violinist with a rock band. [Laughs] Obviously that’s going to set me apart. I play pop and rock songs, and I write my own songs.”

Coming soon: Aside from plans to continue to post YouTube videos, Price said he is “going into the studio this fall and doing a Kickstarter project to kick that off later this month.”

Links: www.facebook.com/rhettypants;www.youtube.com/rhettcprice - Boston Globe


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

With over 1.5 million youtube views in over 160 countries worldwide, violinist Rhett Price is becoming a youtube sensation. He's been featured in the Huffington Post, Boston Magazine, Boston.com, The Chive, Seventeen Magazine, the Boston Globe, New York Post, CBS news, Fox 25, etc., was requested for a private party hosted by Patriots star Rob Gronkowski, an event on Red Sox owner John Henry's private yacht, and at New York City's elite Core Club. While traveling around the country performing, Price aims to not only pursue his dreams, but to do everything he can to inspire others to chase their dreams as well. His videos and other information can be found at youtube.com/rhettcprice and facebook.com/rhettypants.