In early April, Margo Price received the thrill of a lifetime: At a Tennessee concert, she performed “Coal Miner’s Daughter” alongside her hero, country legend Loretta Lynn. Calling from Grand Rapids, Michigan, several days later, Price still seems over the moon about the collaboration.
“That was maybe the most surreal moment of my life thus far,” she says with a laugh. “I obviously admire her so much, and her writing. … She’s still got such sharp wit and a great sense of humor and is so incredibly entertaining to watch.”
Days after she chatted with the Weekly, Price once again joined Lynn onstage, this time to sing the gospel number “Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven” at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. The reprise of the dream collaboration was just the latest pinch-me moment for Price since the release of 2016’s Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, an acclaimed record that established her as a fiercely confessional voice indebted to—but not beholden to—vintage country.
Among other recent career highlights: dueting with Emmylou Harris on “Two More Bottles of Wine” and singing “Me and Bobby McGee” with Kris Kristofferson. “For me, those are the moments that I have lived for,” Price says. “I’m not in the business to rack up awards or accolades. It’s nice to be able to meet some of my heroes. It’s been quite a year.”
Still, she considers Midwest Farmer’s Daughter—an album that “went further than I ever expected it to”—a stepping stone to an enduring career. In fact, Price recently recorded her next LP, and it’s already in the mastering and artwork phase. “I am looking forward to now being able to keep putting out records,” she says. “I’m really itching to have a high output and really have a prolific career.”
Midwest Farmer’s Daughter set a solid future precedent because of its diversity. Although the string-bowed “Hands of Time” feels like a soapy ’70s country ballad, “Tennessee Song” is cosmic Americana and “Four Years of Chances” is straight-up boogie-soul. When asked about new inspirations creeping into her music, Price cites Texas legend Doug Sahm.
“I really admire that he was able to take so many different types of music and have them come through in what he was doing, but yet still remain rooted,” she says. “Obviously, I’ve got a lot of love for soul music and rock ’n’ roll and even folk, gospel and blues. I try not to limit myself, genre-wise.”
On a topical level, Price’s new songs also explore broad ideas influenced by “the state of the world, and just being able to go out and see America right now,” she says. “I’m gone from home a lot, and all my dreams are coming true, it’s amazing, but I do miss my son very much.” Later in the conversation, she reiterates why today’s political climate warrants outspokenness.
“There’s a lot of things to talk about right now,” she says. “While a lot of times people don’t want to hear musicians talk about politics—or celebrities in general—I think we all have a voice. And that’s the beautiful thing about America: We’re all allowed to use that voice in whatever way we want.”
Margo Price Opening for Jamey Johnson with Brent Cobb. April 28, 7:30 p.m., $45. Brooklyn Bowl, 702-862-2695.