By Ian Bremner
It doesn’t take too much detective work to assume Margo Price was moving away from the born and bred country music of her fantastic debut Midwest Farmer’s Daughter and follow up, All American Made. Personally and musically Price has come a long way since then. After gaining supreme status as one of country music’s true stars for good reason, Margo Price is staking her claim as a bonafide rock star. Her 3rd record, That’s How Rumors Get Started is a glitzy and incredibly comforting rock record that you’d find in the jukebox alongside Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks, and Bob Dylan at their peak. The album has nostalgic sensibilities, yet you can’t help but feel a glimpse of the future of rock n roll.
That’s How Rumors Get Started is a beautifully handcrafted recording of 10 tracks featuring some true legendary players like Benmont Tench (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers) Pino Palladino (D’Angelo & John Mayer), James Gadson, and Matt Sweeney. The record was produced by fellow musical renegade Sturgill Simpson in Los Angeles. Even with all of the experience and talent in the room, Price’s songwriting and singing voice remain the highlight. Her confidence and precision cut through everything. It’s clear Margo Price is the star and she sings like she knows it.
Songs like Letting Me Down and Twinkle Twinkle contain that specific southern swagger that sounds best loud as hell with clanks of pool cues and beer bottles in the background in a windowless tavern. It could be 1970 or 2020, it doesn’t matter. There’s tenderness in songs like Stone Me and Hey Child, the latter being backed up by the wonderful Nashville Friends Gospel Choir. The true showstopper is saved for the final track, I’d Die For You. No, it’s not a Prince cover, but it’ll shake you up like it is.
That’s How Rumors Get Started was slated for release a couple months ago, when the dream of touring in 2020 was still alive, if we could simply wait it out. Since pushing the date, Price released a live record from her time at the Ryman where proceeds went to COVID-19 relief. Everyone’s hope was to be back in action playing shows by now, but sadly that is not the reality. The difficulty of releasing music in this time should not be lost on anyone and though Price and fans will have to wait longer than planned, any song from That’s How Rumors Get Started will sound so damn good in her live set once that day comes.
2020 continues weirder and weirder. This year has been challenging in so many ways and has proved many things we feared true. It’s also been a growth period for many of us and it has proved that the power of art and music and community and rock n roll is most certainly NOT dead. It has taken on new faces like Margo Price, who is one of the the most vocal leaders for change in music. She doesn’t shy away from politics or confronting racism and proudly uses her voice to connect people in various ways, singing or otherwise. Music provides an outlet, but it’s also a vehicle for positive energy. While we can temporarily no longer pack clubs around the country as public group catharsis, the rock n roll spirit lives on through records like That’s How Rumors Get Started.
Listen to That’s How Rumors Get Started via spotify
Watch the video for Letting Me Down
Watch the video for Twinkle Twinkle