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Thursday, 14 April 2016

WORDS FOR THE MUSIC #5: Margo Price


MARGO PRICE, 2016






Hands of Time
Margo Price & The Pricetags
from the 2016 Third Man Records LP Midwest Farmer's Daughter









HANDS OF TIME


When I rolled out of town on the unpaved road
I was fifty-seven dollars from being broke
Kissed my mama and my sisters and I said goodbye
And with my suitcase packed I wiped the tears from my eyes

Times they were tough growing up at home
My daddy lost the farm when I was two years old
Took a job at the prison working second shift
And that’s the last time I let them take what should be his

Cause all I want to do is make a little cash
Cause I worked all the bad jobs bustin' my ass
I want to buy back the farm
And bring my mama home some wine
And turn back the clock on the cruel hands of time

When I hit the city I joined the band
Started singing in the bars and running with the men
But the men they brought me problems
And the drinking caused me grief
I thought I'd found a friend but I only found a thief

Soon I settled down with a married man
We had a couple babies, started living off the land
But my firstborn died and I cried out to God
Is there anybody out there looking down on me at all?

Cause all I want to do is make something last
But I can't see the future, I can't change the past
I want to buy back the farm
And bring my mama home some wine
Turn back the clock on the cruel hands of time


Still I keep a-running fast as I can
Trying to make something honest with my own two hands
And I ain't got the breath to say another bad word
So if I ever said it wrong won't you forget what you heard

Cause all I want to do is make my own path
Cause I know what I am, I know what I have
I want to buy back the farm
And bring my mama home some wine
Turn back the clock on the cruel hands of time

The cruel hands of time
The cruel hands of time  
The cruel hands of time  







Words and Music by MARGO PRICE
© 2016 Margo Price/Third Man Records






The Songwriter:  The following biography by is taken from the Third Man Records website.  [It is re-posted here for recommendation purposes only and, like the material displayed above, remains the company's exclusive copyright-protected intellectual property.]

It only takes Margo Price about twenty-eight seconds to convince you that you're hearing the arrival of a singular new talent. Hands of Time, the opener on Midwest Farmer's Daughter (released in March 2016 on Third Man Records), is an invitation, a mission statement and a starkly poetic summary of the 32-year old singer's life, all in one knockout, self-penned punch: 'When I rolled out of town on the unpaved road, I was fifty-seven dollars from bein' broke'

Throughout Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, Price recalls hardships and heartaches – the loss of her family's farm, the death of her child, problems with men and the bottle. Her voice has that alluring mix of vulnerability and resilience that was once the province of Loretta and Dolly. It is a tour-de-force performance that is vivid, deeply moving and all true.

From the honky tonk comeuppance of About To Find Out, to the rockabilly-charged This Town Gets Around to the weekend twang of Hurtin' (On The Bottle), Price adds fresh twists to classic Nashville country, with a sound that could’ve made hits in any decade. Meanwhile, the hard-hitting blues grooves of Four Years of Chances and Tennessee Song push the boundaries further west to Memphis (the album was recorded at Sun Studio).  

Price grew up in Aledo, Illinois (pop 3,612), and after dropping out of college, she moved to Nashville in 2003. She soon met bass player – and future husband – Jeremy Ivey, and formed a band called Buffalo Clover. They self-released three records and built a local following, but it was personal tragedy that brought Price’s calling into even sharper focus. 'I lost my firstborn son to a heart ailment,' Price says, 'and I was really down and depressed. I was drinking too much. I was definitely lost. I did some things that I regret very much now that resulted in a brush with the law. Thank God I had my friends and family to keep me going. Coming through that, I thought, "I'm just going to write music that I want to hear." It was a big turning point.'

After recording the album with her band at Sun Studio and shopping it to a number of Nashville labels, Price reached another critical career moment when a friend brought up Third Man Records and told her, 'You're on Jack's radar, he wants to hear the record.' Price says, 'I sent it over, and it just felt like home. A good creative space to be involved in, and everyone is so down to earth. It was awesome when I met with Jack. He told me he thought my voice was a breath of fresh air, and that he loved the record.'

As Price looks ahead to a busy 2016, full of touring and promoting Midwest Farmer's Daughter, she reflects on her hopes for what listeners might get from these songs. 'I hope that the record helps people get through hard times or depression. That's ultimately what music did for me in my childhood, and especially in my early adult years. It's about being able to connect personally with a song, and hopefully, it makes you feel not so lonely.'


Margo Price is an artist who makes music in the best country tradition –– honest, uncompromising, passionate and unafraid to express what are sometimes some very dark emotions.  A song like Hands of Time unapologetically autobiographical and a sad reminder of how low Nashville has sunk since it turned its back on artists with something unique and interesting to say in favor of churning out generic tweeny pop by the bucketful – demonstrates why people keep performing and relating to grassroots country music despite the pundits telling us, time and time again, that there's 'no market for it' in the Snapchat age.

Country music is to white people what the blues used to be black people (that is, before hip-hop replaced it as the music of choice for the disenfranchised young) –– a way to communicate emotion, simply and directly, using plain language and minimal accompaniment.  Time and technology march on.  The truth, on the other hand, never stops being the truth and will hopefully never stop being expressed by songwriters who have more on their minds than cranking out the next formulaic, over-hyped 'hit' for an audience that wouldn't know a steel guitar from a synthesizer if its life depended on it.  


Click HERE to visit the MARGO PRICE page at the Third Man Records website.

Special thanks to everyone who takes the time to upload music to YouTube.  Your efforts are appreciated by music lovers everywhere.

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