Margo Price – support Kelsey Waldon – Old Fruitmarket – January 27, 2024.

Written by on January 29, 2024

MARGO PRICE

The hands of time are ticking along very nicely for the Midwest farmer’s daughter and this brilliant gig shows exactly why.

It’s a fast-as-a-whip set that MARGO PRICE and her ace band The Pricetags race through, harvesting songs from her crop of albums to deliver them with country, soul and rootsy glee.

She is mesmerising. Rarely – if ever, I reckon – do you see someone in a shimmering chorus girl costume play the drums, as we did here. What comes as no surprise, though, is Margo’s star quality, glorious vocals and dazzling command of the stage with song after song delivered with unabashed pleasure.

Title track to her latest release, Strays, is the bruising opener, racing out as if she can’t wait to get going. Three more tracks from the same album – Change of Heart, Country Road and a stonking Been To The Mountain – are locked into a set where there’s barely a gap between songs.

Shortest song, Letting Me Down from “That’s How Rumours Get Started,” reflects angrily on being rejected and Margo isn’t holding back: “They don’t make ’em like you no more / Your mama’s working at the liquor store / But we don’t talk about it anymore / And you don’t come around” she declares while prowling front of stage.

Tennessee Song is a standout on her “Midwest Farmer’s Daughter” 2016 debut and it shines and glows again here. With the band flowing she clearly relishes this one: “Take your time but don’t take long / Play another southern song / In this world we won’t be long.”

In recent times, she’s deviated from the overall tone of Midwest Farmer’s Daughter and it’s laudable she embraces the challenge of writing differently though this gig is very much in a winning country rock vein, complete with costume change.

The finale is terrific as well as she steps into the smiling crowd for Janis Joplin’s raucous Mercedes Benz. It’s been a helluva ride made all the more memorable because Margo Price entertains, puts on a show and damn well deserves a whole load of praise.

KELSEY WALDON

All the way from Monkey’s Eyebrow in Kentucky, KELSEY WALDON is as good a support act you could wish for. The tracks from her latest release “No Regular Dog,” such as Kentucky 1988 and Tall And Mighty, are strong, warming and sharp to show that her capabilities as a songwriter and performer are on the rise.

MIKE RITCHIE


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