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American Routes Shortcuts: Margo Price

Margo Price
American Routes

Margo Price brings Midwestern working class credentials to country music. From Aledo, Illinois, Margo followed her uncle Bobby Fisher’s footsteps as a Nashville songwriter. While working odd jobs, Margo formed the Pricetags, who joined her on the 2016 debut album, “Midwest Farmer’s Daughter.” Price has always been outspoken about the rights of women and the working class, subjects she’s channeled into her music.

Margo Price: My mom was a school teacher and my dad was a farmer, and my grandfather and all of his brothers and all their sons, they all had a farm in an area called Buffalo Prairie. They lost the farm like many Americans did in the ‘80s. There was something that was just missing from everybody’s life. I feel like my grandpa never got over that.

Nick: Who are your main heroes would you say, at least in country music?

MP: Definitely Loretta. For her to write a song about the pill when she did, I mean that was just groundbreaking, and it was banned, and it was edgy, and I think that’s so cool.

NS: “Pay Gap,” this takes you out into the realm of social commentary. Why do you deal with the larger life of America, its society, the things that are going on?

MP: I don’t feel like I’m criticizing anybody, but there are things I see that I feel like I want to talk about regardless of whether that makes people a little uncomfortable or not. I have had so many insane comments, I put up-

NS: On your Instagram.

MP: Yeah I put up one post of this girl who was at the Women’s March and she was holding a sign that said, “Pay gap, pay gap, you’re ripping my dollars in half.” And I had 500 comments; I had people calling me a man-hater and all these other things that were so hurtful and I don’t understand how you can just speak up for women’s rights and then people think that you dislike men. I think women just want it to be equal. So as long as I can get people talking about it, I guess I’ll take the name-calling and whatever else in between.

MP: We’ve been stuck in these gender roles for so long that even now, people think that the man has to be the bread winner and that women’s place is in the home and they want their meal cooked when they get there and I think it can go either way and I definitely want to have it all and you know, but it is hard to be a mother and feel like I’m missing things when I’m on the road.

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