margo price’s Midwest Farmer’s Daughter: harks back to classic 70s country

16th June 2016

Title: Midwest Farmer’s Daughter
Label: Third Man Records

An intriguing artist because Price harks back to the past in terms of her singing style, taking a leaf from the likes of Loretta Lynne and early Emmylou Harris while her songs breath new life into the 70s country idiom. That could have been a disaster and a parody in waiting but Price has a gift for story-telling that lends truth and authenticity to her performances. Price, who has already had an extended recording career with Buffalo Clover (three albums) and Margo & the Pricetags with Sturgill Simpson, recorded this album and then sent it to Third Man supremo, Jack White (already a fan of Price) who agreed to release it.

The LP itself offers a stripped back production and is spare in tone while her delivery performs the successful balancing act of being personal and inclusive for the listener, as in the song Hands of Time, but doesn’t go too far. There are artists out there who have appeared to have written albums while sitting in the waiting room of their psychaistrist, for example. Price offers the truth but only as a poet might during a recital. There is a sense of control during her expression. On the other side of the coin, her more shiny productions retain that personal touch to prevent them becoming overly glossy. In this way, Price is able to keep her feet on the ground while, at the same time, exploring artistic space. In some ways it’s Price’s ‘plain’, matter of fact, delivery that adds a measure of validity and honesty to this album. It allows Price to express her emotions in a seemingly genuine manner.

For the audiophiles amongst you? You’ll be delighted. Third Man has done an excellent mastering job on this album. It is both clear and transparent with a sense of quietude behind the music that allows a whole heap of music to come forth.Margo price