Sound Advice: Margo and the Pricetags with Pokey LaFarge

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click to enlarge Margo Price
Margo Price

The past few years have seen a lot of buzz about Nashville, Tenn.’s fertile Rock scene, which is often presented as a counterpart to the city’s vital role as the Modern Country music business’ nerve center. Following that “cool Indie/Garage Rock vs. shiny, vapid Country Pop” scenario, one might think that all of the Country music coming out of the city is just slick Country-music-radio fodder. But as Country music in general seems to be beginning to welcome a return to the genre’s gritty heart and soul (see: Chris Stapleton’s Album of the Year win at the CMAs), Nashville has been a home to the other side of the music’s coin, pumping out amazing artists that range from progressive fave Sturgill Simpson and neo-traditionalists like Nikki Lane and the great Margo Price. 

Price first garnered attention with Nashville band Buffalo Clover, which found some success with its soulful Rock formula. When Price — who was born in a small rural town in Illinois — was offered an acoustic gig opening for Shovels & Rope by a booker who told her BC was too loud for the show, she began to reconnect with the Country music she grew up on. When Buffalo Clover ran into some deflating biz-related roadblocks on its path to success, Price switched over to Country full-time and began touring with a band under the name Margo and the Pricetags (which has played Cincinnati a few times, including a 2014 date at the MidPoint Music Festival).

Earlier this year it was announced that Price had inked a deal with Jack White’s Third Man Records, becoming the Nashville-based label’s first Nashville-based signing. The pair makes complete sense given White’s work with Country legend Loretta Lynn, an audibly large influence on Price’s work (alongside classic artists like Hank Williams and Tammy Wynette). Price’s self-titled debut, Midwest Farmer’s Daughter (a play off of Lynn’s “Coal Miner’s Daughter”), was recorded at Memphis’ famed Sun Studio and mixed in the same city’s almost-as-famed Ardent Studios. The album is due from Third Man this coming March. 

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