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Price has already "made it"

Paradise Rock Club, Boston, February 28, 2023

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

Margo Price has been through thick and thin during her lifetime, a life well-chronicled in her recent book, "Maybe We'll Make It." But she certainly seems in a very thick phase right about now - if this stellar outing was any indication.

This was one muscular musical effort by Price and her band. Price was dynamo throughout with an extensive body of work at her disposal. She came out swinging musically from the start and never let up for 95 minutes.

She leaned heavily into her January release, "Strays," on this night, playing seven of its 10 songs. While there are country elements to the release, they are muted as at times Price opted for an indie rock sensibility. That was apparent on the lead-off song of the disc and concert, "Been to the Mountain" where Price changed gears for an intense spoken part.

Price didn't exactly eschew her love of country either with such songs as "Four Years of Chances," "Tennessee Song" and "That's How Rumors Get Started." Not to mention the stellar opening song of the encore, "Hurtin' (On the Bottle)," seldom played on this tour, coupled with snatches of Merle Haggard's "I Think I'll Just Stay Here and Drink" and Willie Nelson's "Whiskey River." Drinking never sounded so good (well, probably not to Price as she swore off the booze).

Price was backed by one highly capable band, featuring three guitarists. Perhaps Price wanted to toughen up the sound with guitars, but while the show certainly rocked, they were not playing at 11. Jeremy Ivey, who doubles as Price's husband, was his typical laid-back self even if he has a cool quality about him. He was content to play his acoustic guitar in the background, but really shone when going electric and lit it up with his harp a few times. He even smiled and clapped a few times!

Price's two other guitarists were superb as well with Jamie Davis in particular, a true tour de force, especially when he went the slide route, which was often. Alex Munoz took a number of well-placed leads as well.

And while drummer Dillon Napier was certainly capable of keeping the beat on his own, Price hit a second set of drums herself on three different songs. She attacked the skins with abandon.

Price gave band members lots of room to show their stuff with frequent codas to songs and simply letting them play. She had plenty of reason to do so.

Ultimately, the focus was on Price, of course. And she also showed she could do it alone, closing solo on stage with Janis Joplin's "Mercedes Benz." Like everything else tonight, Price thrust herself into the body of the song, while shaking a tambourine.

With nights like this, Price aptly showed there is no "maybe." She has already "made it."

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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