‘It was pretty ballsy and was definitely a change in direction.’
Margo Price and her take on the opening single, ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ from her new album, ‘That’s How Rumors Get Started,‘ is an honest reflection on the track which probably raised a few eyebrows when it first dropped. The story behind it and Marty Stuart‘s question about life on the road, ‘Does the band hate each other yet?,’ is a great insight into how songs get written and why they matter.
On the AC we’ve loved Margo from the get-go. Initially flagged up to us by our great friend Bill Demain, we played Margo Price and The Pricetags a good few years ago and have followed her career with interest. She’s always been great value as an interviewee and held us all spellbound at C2C two years ago with stories of her duet with Willie Nelson as well as her strong articulation of women’s rights in the light of MeToo. Her performance at the festival itself was a triumph and it’s been great to see her following grow and her own music expand and develop.
What’s been interesting about Margo is (like Sturgill Simpson her producer on this album) she’s ‘cool’ because she has stayed true to her roots. Fashion and trends are fickle friends and I have learned to be distrustful of how they ebb and flow. In Margo’s case however she is oblivious to all of that and has essentially followed her own path. In much the same way (musically) as Amy Winehouse expressed only interest in music from pre 1960, so Margo too has championed the ideals of the country music she adored growing up. Within that however she has also revealed what might have happened next had we allowed those careers to grow and develop. The new album is a great listen; a rounded collection of songs which ask all the right questions and leave the impression that with Margo, you always get closer to the truth. Fame has brought with it some interesting fellow travellers and the record leaves you in no doubt of the conflicting emotions running through her own writing and ambitions.
So, a couple of weeks ago, I caught up with Margo in lockdown and we talked about her new daughter Ramona, that fame thing, her conversation with Marty Stuart and where America is now, in the light of BLM. It’s a conversation you can hear on this week’s AC and it’s one you won’t want to miss.
We’ve also been taken with Jonathan Wilson‘s new record where, as well as returning to his more country side, he’s covered a great Four Tops song. Inspired by this we thought we’d take you on a little country road trip where country goes soul and soul goes country. It’s a well trodden path, but really it’s one that goes back to the roots of country, rock ‘n’ roll and R ‘n’ B music. We think you’ll enjoy the ride.
All this as well as the usual clutch of great new releases in two hours of country music, our way, on BBC Radio Scotland this Tuesday from 8 p.m.
The Blog is taking annual leave from this week. It will return fresh with new thoughts and radio stories in August at some point.
All year round I present a weekly program called Another Country which goes out every Tuesday evening at 8 p.m. You can find the show on BBC Radio Scotland.
Occasionally you'll find me on BBC Radio 2 with my New Tradition.
I also make special programs about artists whose music has inspired me; Ricky Ross Meets... is on BBC Radio Scotland.
You can listen to previous versions of all these shows via BBC Sounds.