Margo Price Delights The Bowery Ballroom with New Music

November 16th, 2016

Margo Price – The Bowery Ballroom – November 15, 2016

“The first time I played New York, there were about seven people there,” announced country singer Margo Price from the stage at The Bowery Ballroom last night. Surveying the sold-out crowd that had turned out to see her perform, she smiled and said, “This feels good.” Since the release of Price’s debut album, Midwest Farmer’s Daughter, earlier this year, it’s safe to say there is no going back to the days of sparsely attended shows. Price’s sound, a blend of traditional country music with lyrics that feel decidedly modern, is capped off by her smooth, soaring voice, capturing the raw emotion of her subject matter. Like any legit country artist, the topics of depression and drinking make an appearance throughout Price’s material, most notably on songs like the aptly titled, “Desperate and Depressed,” “World’s Greatest Loser” and “Since You Put Me Down.”

Price and her band fleshed out songs from the album with covers of artists like Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson and Karen Dalton, and, as the show fell on the week-anniversary of the presidential election, she made several references and allusions to our current state of politics (for the record, she is, to quote her own song, “desperate and depressed.”) As Price revisited numbers written about some of her darker moments, she maintained an upbeat attitude, offering, “I’m gonna sing a song about the time I went to jail accidentally,” as an introduction to “Weekender.” “Wasn’t the first time, but hopefully will be the last,” she added winking. Closing the show with “Hurtin’ (On the Bottle),” another crowd-pleasing drinking anthem, Price cheerfully jumped down into the audience, singing and dancing along with the revelers, a pure expression of the resilience she clearly seems to find in her music. —Alena Kastin | @AlenaK