On her debut album ‘Mid-West Farmer’s Daughter’ Margo Price described herself as an outcast who had been rejected by Nashville and the mainstream industry, eventually being forced to sell everything she had to just to make a record that no one wanted to release. After Jack White and Third Man Records signed her and propelled her to success that underdog narrative no longer applied. So for her second album All American Made she looked outward to issues facing her own nation, making political and feminist statements which led to Grammy nominations and further underlined her status as a modern Americana icon. Her new album ‘That’s How Rumors Get Started’ offers a glimpse into the musical and personal challenges that come in the wake of such career highs. Continue reading “Album Review: Margo Price – That’s How Rumors Get Started”
You could tell this was going to be a good day because it was unusually sunny in Glasgow, with thankfully no sign of the snowmaggedon conditions that had caused shows to be cancelled at the same venue last week. I was at the Hydro to attend Country 2 Country festival, which brings the best of Nashville to the UK for three days every March. The Friday evening show featured performances from Lukas Nelson, Ashley Campbell, Midland, Margo Price, Emmylou Harris and Little Big Town. Continue reading “Live Review: Country to Country Festival, Glasgow, Friday 9th March 2018”
When I was younger I couldn’t wait until Saturday so I could go to the next town and spend what little money I had on albums and singles. Of course I lived in the middle of nowhere so the next town only had a small Woolworths shop but beggars couldn’t be choosers. I want to tell my 14 year old self one day you will be able to listen to whatever album you want instantly for FREE. I’m sure my head would explode. Yet if I explained how we got here and what we lost on the way I don’t think I would be so overjoyed at the prospect. A system which threatens independent record shops and hurts the artist is not something to celebrate. When I was a kid all I dreamed of was shelves stacked with CDs and vinyl. I have that now but I admittedly buy a lot less, leaving my collection a little frozen in time.
With those concerns in mind, and inspired by the shopping haul posts of other bloggers I am committing myself to getting out to a record shop once a month and buying something by a female artist (to keep with the blog theme). I am also hoping to expand my second hand vinyl collection so I will also show you what treasures I find. Continue reading “October Music Haul”
The celebrated classicist Mary Beard in her lecture ‘The Public Voice of Women‘ outlined how and why female voices in spheres like culture and politics have been attacked and silenced across time. She traced it back to Homer’s Odysessy, through to Shakespeare where a raped woman has her tongue ripped out, right up to the present day and the online trolling of women. Beard goes on to explain that:
‘it doesn’t much matter what line you take as a woman, if you venture into traditional male territory, the abuse comes anyway. It’s not what you say that prompts it, it’s the fact you’re saying it.’
In the music industry this seems more tragically true than ever. Women are outnumbered in every aspect of the business, those who venture into its pit are treated like a novelty; they are sexualised, objectified and their voices ultimately sidelined.
So don’t underestimate how important it is that women like Alynda Segarra of Hurray for the Riff Raff, Juliana Hatfield and now Margo Price have released albums in 2017 that are fiercely personal and yet concern themselves with wider political ideas. Price has emerged as a true outlaw hero of country music since the release of her debut album last year and the EP ‘Weakness‘. Her follow up, ‘All American Made’ is a statement of intent: she’s here to sing about the social issues she sees in the world and she’s not ready to make nice. Continue reading “Album Review: Margo Price – All American Made”
This weekend the lineup for the Country to Country Festival 2018 was announced and the acts playing include Kacey Musgraves, Little Big Town, Faith Hill, Emmylou Harris, Margo Price, Kelsea Ballerini and other fabulous females. Yes, you read that right – a music festival with actual female representation on the bill. Let’s not underplay how significant it is that all three nights of C2C will end with a woman on the stage – there is no other major three day British musical festival this year where women are represented in all the headline acts (in fact when I wrote about this earlier in the year few even had ONE female headliner). C2C has not just broken the mould for women they’ve smashed the glass ceiling right through. So you’d think the country music world and their fans would be delighted, celebrating this moment of equality and revolution. Alas, as ever, the negative online response is depressingly familiar. Continue reading “Why Kacey Musgraves is a Perfect Headliner for C2C’s Fabulous Festival of Female Talent”
Don’t be fooled by the title of this new E.P. by Margo Price. Weakness only proves how powerful a performer she is and these four songs are brimming with musical confidence and conviction. Continue reading “E.P. Review: Margo Price – Weakness”
Five minutes spent watching any TV ‘talent’ show should be enough to convince you that singing other people’s songs well is a unique art. To truly cover a song you need to own it completely for yourself. You need to sing this is my song and actually mean it. So Brandi Carlile was brave to ask fourteen artists to cover songs from her album The Story. Thankfully the rich and diverse interpretations of her work on this charity album Cover Stories are more than worthy of comparison with the originals. Continue reading “Album Review: Cover Stories”