Rising through the country and Americana ranks, Margo Price hit pay-dirt with her 2016 album Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, drawing critical acclaim from all quarters of the country world. Now she’s gone one step further on her new album, never pulling punches and wrapping it all up in a wonderfully wide-ranging classic and soulful country palette.
Price has hit that point where she can make the dream of a Willie Nelson duet a reality, as they do on ‘Learning To Lose’. The sweet ache of Price’s voice is the perfect foil for the weathered croon of Nelson as they sing of accepting life’s hurdles in order to overcome them. Elsewhere Price’s strength of character is reflected in ‘Pay Gap’, which addresses just that, as well as the honky-tonk warning to stay away from ‘Cocaine Cowboys’. The Neil and Willie referencing ‘Heart Of America’ documents the struggles of farming communities and the closer and title track takes an unflinching look at the negative self-created aspects of America.
Price’s greatest success is that she digs into a number of corners of country music without ever diluting the authenticity of her music. Neil Young’s Harvest Moon album sounds like it was a touchstone, as was the soul/funk approach of Bobbie Gentry. One can also hear the country melancholy of Gram Parsons and the gritty classic outlaw vibe of Willie and Waylon. All American Made is classic Americana in its stylistically polymorphous approach and its unassuming honesty.