The only thing that sucked about Margo Price’s performance Tuesday night (1-19) on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert is that her debut album is not due out until March 25th. It will be a cold, dark two months of toiling in the winter bleakness until traditional country fans will be delivered their reward for patience in the form of Midwest Farmer’s Daughter through Jack White’s Third Man Records.
Of course to those inhabiting the gentrifying streets of east Nashville—you know the kind, with their 3,000 Instagram followers, a stall in the vintage mall with a bunch of overpriced Country & Western crap they scrounge from the thrift stores, and an Airbnb in their backyard—well they’ve been hip on Margo for a while now, thank you very much. Who else in town can boast they once had Sturgill Simpson playing lead guitar in their band, and that they were the first to possess Third Man to cross into the country realm?
Just a couple of years removed from belonging to a band called Buffalo Clover with her hubby and guitarist Jeremy Ivey, Margo launched Margo Price and the Pricetags a while ago, and and like a truly vintage pair of Wayfarer frames, they quickly became one of the hottest commodities east of I-24. Though Margo doesn’t boast a proper album release in her solo arsenal just yet, some videos and live cuts have already helped Margo’s legacy precede her, especially the ribald of “This Town Gets Around” and the “It’s not who you know, but who you blow” line. But of course picking on Nashville is pretty easy pickings and not particularly original these days, and the song only represented the skinny surface of what the Illinois native is capable of.
Margo recorded the aforementioned Midwest Farmer’s Daughter at Sun Studios in Memphis before she even had a label lined up, shopped it around Nashville to be told “no” by virtually every outfit in town (and possibly finding the inspiration for “This Town Gets Around”) before she finally landed at Third Man. Now Price is poised (at least potentially) to join her former guitar player Sturgill in riding the swelling wave of the new interest in more traditional, and more authentic sounds emanating from Music City.
It may have seemed a little early for Margo, but no time is a bad time for a network television debut.