Margo Price was perfect from the moment she walked onto the stage (the the Law & Order theme song, no less) at The State Room wearing a fringed jacket a shirt she later told the crowd she’d picked up at Decades, Salt Lake’s own vintage shop.
From there, it got better. She tore through a setlist of songs from her two albums and a couple covers from Bob Dylan and Guy Clark. Sometimes her band took strange, mystic turns through Grateful Dead-esque jam sessions and Price would set aside the acoustic guitar in favor of the extra drum set on the stage. Her band, including husband Jeremy Ivey who wore a matching fringe jacket, plays like a group that has been together for decades, and Luke Schneider’s pedal steel is the lynchpin in the entire organization.
But it’s Price’s voice—her pristine voice juxtaposed with her raw and vulnerable songwriting that really sticks with you. Her earnest and effortless delivery is why she’s been charged with the task of saving country music. No pressure, Margo!
Whether the rollicking “Four Years of Chances” or a tender solo performance of “American Made” (with Price on the keyboards), Price’s presence on stage is nothing if not versatile.
An encore of “Hurtin’ on the Bottle” with a medley that weaved in Willie and Merle proved to be a tip o’ the hat to country music royalty while the second song in the encore, “Proud Mary” served to show just how far this band has yet to travel.
Because she’s such a throwback to a forgotten age of country music it is often hard to separate her from her influences (paging Loretta Lynn!) But one thing that Price made clear at The State Room is that she’s making her own way, her own rules and the only way to go is up.