Nashville rebel Margo Price making stop in Rochester
After Chase Bryant and JT and the Gunslingers rocked Mayo Park last Sunday with their country stylings, Riverside Concerts has lined up another country show — but the sound coming from the stage couldn’t be more different.
For the penultimate show in 2018’s version of the Think Bank Down by the Riverside free outdoor concert series, Margo Price will headline “Outlaw Country Night,” with support from Minnesota-based Americana act Almighty American. Price has made a name for herself in the Nashville country scene by being an outsider in every sense of the word.
After working odd jobs in Nashville for a decade, Price’s big break came with 2016’s Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, her debut full-length released on Jack White’s country label Third Man Records. Her sound, which draws much more inspiration from old country stalwarts (Loretta Lynn and Willie Nelson come to mind — and she has duets with both of them) than from modern country radio. Midwest Farmer’s Daughter acted as an origin story of sorts, while touching on Price’s personal struggles growing up in rural Illinois and her time in Nashville, as well as the death of her infant son Ezra. Her powerful delivery and honest lyrics propelled her to the spotlight in Nashville and onto the national stage, highlighted by an appearance on Saturday Night Live.
On both Midwest Farmer’s Daughter and Price’s latest release, 2017’s All American Made (also released on Third Man), her calling card is her honesty. Price is nothing if not genuine, and topics considered off-limits to some artists in contemporary country (politics, gender equality, run-ins with the law) are broken down in detail through Price’s music. Songs like “Pay Gap,” written about male musicians making more than female musicians with the same-sized fan bases to play shows, drive the point home.
Her music fits right in with fellow country reactionaries Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell, and Sturgill Simpson (who played in a band with Price before both of their solo careers took off), who are starting to offer an alternative to mainstream country. This modern singer-songwriter sound, with a serious helping of vintage country, will take the stage at Mayo Park after Almighty American, the full-band project of Michael Gay, a Century High School graduate who has been a regular at venues in Rochester for years.
What: Margo Price with opener Almighty American
When: Sunday, August 5 at 7 p.m.
Where: Mayo Park (behind the Mayo Civic Center)
Isaac Jahns is a 2015 graduate of Mayo High School and a current journalism student at the University of Missouri. His main passions are writing music and telling people’s stories. Follow Isaac on Twitter.
Story produced with support from Riverside Concerts
Photo courtesy Danielle Holbert