Margo Price Is Everything Country Needs Right Now

Margo Price sat down with Terry Gross on NPR's Fresh Air last month to talk about music, grief, and small-town America.

Price is a fixture in Nashville, where she's been a part of the country music scene since she dropped out of college and moved to the city in 2003. However, she's only risen to prominence as a singer-songwriter in the last year or so, since the release of her debut album Midwest Farmer's Daughter.

On Fresh Air, Price confessed that she's been feeling that mid-western farm calling out to her as she gets older. She grew up in Aledo, IL, where she says "there wasn't much going on."

"I always dreamed of a more romantic backdrop," she said. "Now, when I go back, I see the beauty in it."

In the 42 minute interview, Price talked about her roots as well as the path that led her to country stardom. She said she has some hazy memories of her grandparents' farm before a big corporation bought it up when she was 2 or 3 years old. She tried to explain how they lost it, but said "it's very complicated and I never know if I'm getting all the details exactly right, no matter how many times I ask."

Gross asked Price about the years she spent in Nashville trying to gain recognition. Price and her husband, guitarist Jeremy Ivey, played in many bands before forming Margo and The Price Tags. Price described the moment when Ivey decided to gamble everything on her music.

"It was really scary," she said. "He just came into the kitchen one morning and he's like, 'That's it! We're never going to be able to save up enough money to make the record that you need, so I'm just going to sell the car.' And I tried to talk him out of it, but he ... sold it to CarMax, and he came home and then we booked the studio time the very next day."

Ivey also convinced Price to pawn her wedding ring to pay for the studio time, but he later went and bought it back for her.

"My husband said, 'It's just a material possession, it doesn't matter.' While I agreed with him, I still liked my wedding ring with the chip in it, so he eventually went back and got it out of the hock for me."

Gross also asked Price about the political message behind "All American Made," the title track to her most recent album. Price pointed out that the song, unlike most of the album, was written a long time ago, before the band was even formed.

"I think there's just more weight in it than at the time that I wrote it," she said of the song. "I think America's in just such a divided, heavy place right now... I love my country so much. I don't want to leave. I just, day to day, wake up and read the news and feel confused and so this song has helped on some gray mornings."

All American Made was released in October. Margo and The Price Tags are heading out on the Nowhere Fast Tour on Jan. 20.