Margo Price plays country music the way it’s supposed to be played; full-tilt, heart on your sleeve, sweat soaked and whiskey fueled. It’s the kind of music that got Waylon and Willie kicked out of Nashville. Hard as it is to believe, All American Made is just the second full-length disc from Margo. It bristles and burns with a fire that’s fueled by the passion of going head-strong and head-long into the winds of change.
Firing on all cylinders right from the start, Don’t Say It, questions the nature of love, with a chorus that makes things crystal clear, “Don’t say you love me then act like you’re above me, It’s funny how you can be with someone and still feel lonely.” Haven’t we all been there from time to time?
From fiddles to steel guitars, this is an album that connects with the heart of real country music. But when sets it apart from some much of what comes out today is the real emotion in every track. Not that those emotions are always easy to deal with. “A Little Pain” lays out the contradiction, “Gotta please everybody except for myself, but like Levon said, ‘Ain’t in it for my health.’”
Margo even gets the Willie Nelson seal of approval on the duet, Learning To Lose, a song that questions what’s a blessing and what’s a curse. Complete with guitar solo on Trigger from Nelson, it closes not with Willie’s “that’s a good one” comment but with a swelling of guitars and strings that takes the song out with a solemn touch
Price looks the issue of equal pay with a new kind of determination. Pay Gap makes it clear, “We are all the same in the eyes of God, But in the eyes of rich white me, No more than a maid to be owned like a dog, A second-class citizen.” This an album full of twanging guitars, and blues that come from a country that hasn’t lived up to its promise of hard work being its own reward like on Heart of America.
With the sounds of presidents whispering in our ears, All American Made it’s clear that the U.S. is quite often a country that doesn’t live up to its aspirations, from those of Tom Joad in Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath to Tom Petty’s American Girl. Margo Price is determined to be the kind of artist that speaks her mind regardless of the cost. With All American Made she’s off to a great start.
Words: Bob Fish