Midwest Farmer’s Daughter
Since flying onto everyone’s radar as the first country artist signed to Jack White’s Third Man Records, Margo Price has received a mountain’s worth of comparisons to two of modern country’s godmothers: Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton. Valid comparisons, to be sure—and Price nods to at least the first one herself in the title of Midwest Farmer’s Daughter alone—but in listening to this debut LP, she actually seems more attuned to the bite of outlaw country icons like Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings. The music is barroom, and the attitude is lonesome, on’ry, and mean. By the end of it, you’ll have mercy on anyone who double-crossed Price on her way to recording this set over late nights at the mythical Sun Studio in Memphis.
Regardless of which way you look at her etymology, though, you’ll find nothing but compliments—and that’s deservedly so for this, one of the finest country albums put out in recent memory. Everything you could ever want is here: a strong, honest narrative (“Hands of Time”), daring, memorable melodies (“Since You Put Me Down”), and—perhaps most important of all—a killer band. “Maybe I’d be smarter if I played dumb,” sings Price on “This Town Gets Around.” Too late for that now. The real Margo Price has arrived—and you’d be advised to get out of her way.