Music Hall of Williamsburg
Margo Price

2nd show added by overwhelming demand!! - SiriusXM Outlaw Country Presents:

Margo Price

Sam Outlaw

Wed, November 16, 2016

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

Music Hall of Williamsburg

Brooklyn, NY

$16 advance / $18 day of show

Sold Out

This event is 18 and over

Margo Price
Margo Price
A lot can change in a year: markets boom and bust, trends come and go, presidents get elected. In 2015, Margo Price was a country underdog just trying to keep enough gas in the tank to get to the next gig, but by the end of 2016, she was one of the genre’s most celebrated new artists and a ubiquitous presence on late night television and at major festivals around the world. It’s the kind of year most musicians can only dream of, and the arrival of Price’s spectacular sophomore album, “All American Made,” proves that she hasn’t taken a moment of it for granted. Delivering on the promise of her debut and then some, the record finds Price planting her flag firmly in the soil as a songwriter who’s here for the long haul, one with the chops to hang with the greats she so often finds herself sharing stages with these days.

“People have started asking me, ‘Now that you’re having success, what are you going to write about?’” Price recounts with a laugh. “A lot of what I wrote on my debut came out of my struggles in the music business, but we don’t have any shortage of material now. I’m just excited to finally have an audience and know that people are going to listen to our songs.”

A prolific writer with a knack for candid self-reflection, Price has never had to look too far for inspiration, and on ‘All American Made,’ she and her songwriting partner/husband, Jeremy Ivey, continue to depict the trials of everyday life with unflinching honesty, painting poetically plainspoken portraits of men and women just trying to get by. Highs and lows, long nights and hard days, wild women and cocaine cowboys, politics and sexism, it’s all in there, singularly filtered through Price’s wry, no-bullshit perspective. Throughout the album, her contemporary take on classic sounds is at once familiar and daring, an infectious blend of Nashville country, Memphis soul, and Texas twang that tips its cap to everyone from Waylon and Willie (who makes a guest appearance) to Loretta and Dolly, all while flipping a middle finger to the cookie-cutter pop that dominates modern country radio. Rich with swirling pedal steel, honky-tonk rhythms, and Price’s stop-you-in-your-tracks vocals, ‘All American Made’ is deeply reverent of tradition even as it challenges conventions, a nuanced exploration of conflicted emotions for our deeply conflicted times.

Far from overnight, Price’s recent meteoric rise is the product of more than a decade of hard work and sacrifice. While she’d long been one of East Nashville’s best-kept-secrets, she burst onto the international scene with the 2016 release of her first solo album, ‘Midwest Farmer’s Daughter.’ The record debuted in the Top 10 on Billboard’s Country Albums chart and graced Best-Of lists everywhere from Entertainment Weekly to NPR Music, who called it "the hard-won arrival of an artist who feels like she's always been here.” Vulture described Price as “one of the most compelling country talents to come out of Nashville in recent memory,” while Pitchfork hailed the album as “a potential classic,” and Rolling Stone praised its “amazingly vivid songcraft.” Price solidified her next-big-thing status with stellar performances on Saturday Night Live, Colbert, Fallon, CBS This Morning, Seth Meyers, A Prairie Home Companion, and more, in addition to taking home Emerging Artist of the Year honors at the Americana Music Awards and winning The American Music Prize for the year’s best debut album. She shared stages and bills with Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson, Emmylou Harris, and Chris Stapleton among others, and her compelling story—years of toil in the Nashville trenches, the loss of her family’s farm and the tragic death of her infant child, a brush with the law, selling her car and pawning her wedding ring to afford studio time, signing to Jack White’s Third Man Records as the label’s first country artist—was recounted in glowing profiles everywhere from the NY Times Magazine and the New Yorker to Morning Edition and Fader.

When it was time to record the follow-up, Price and her band headed back to Memphis, TN, where they’d cut ‘Midwest Farmer’s Daughter’ on a shoestring budget. Instead of returning to Sun Studios, though, they moved down the street to the larger Sam Phillips Recording studio, which the legendary producer opened in 1960 when his own skyrocketing success necessitated more space.

“We recorded live again because that’s really how I like to work,” Price explains. “We’d get in around ten or eleven each morning, and then after about twelve hours of recording, we’d all start yelling for tequila, take a shot, and then just keep going.”

That spirited, energetic atmosphere infuses even the record’s darkest moments with a potent sense of vitality. On the uptempo album opener “Don’t Say It,” Price dishes out sardonic wordplay over smoking hot guitar, while the pedal-steel and fiddle-fueled “Weakness” toes the line between sobriety and mayhem, and the tender “Learning To Lose” finds her living out a country music fantasy as she duets with Willie Nelson.

“We’d gotten to know him a bit from playing shows together and I idolized the hell out of him,” says Price. “I didn’t know there were people like that, who’d achieved such massive stardom but remained so down to earth.”

Old school country may be the album’s most obvious touchstone, but Price and her band incorporate 60’s and 70’s R&B into many of the arrangements here, fusing two of Tennessee’s greatest musical exports. The funky “Do Right By Me” shimmies and grooves with Gospel legends The McCrary Sisters helping out on backing vocals, and the driving “A Little Pain” gets an assist from sweeping orchestration by Memphis legend Lester Snell (the man responsible for the string arrangements in “Shaft”).

“Sometimes you feel like you’ve got to please everybody, but ultimately you should be the one you’re worrying about taking care of,” Price says of the inspiration behind the song. “I wrote it pretty quickly just thinking about being on the road and trying to keep it together while you’re burning the candle at both ends.”

They say write what you know, and there are few things Price knows better than the road and the myriad of obstacles facing women who make their living on it. On “Pay Gap,” she laments the financial state of gender inequality (“why don’t you do the math? / Pay gap, pay gap / Ripping my dollar in half,” she sings), and “Wild Women” looks at the hypocrisies of what’s expected from male musicians compared to their female counterparts.

“There’s a definite double standard,” says Price, “but I think if you’re out there long enough, you stop giving any fucks and you just want to call it out. I get asked questions in interviews that no man would be asked, and if I’m assertive about what I want for me and my band, I get called a ‘diva.’ That song is really about the judgment I get from people who act like women shouldn’t be out on the road. Girls should be encouraged to follow their careers and their dreams just as much as men.”

The album closes with an intimate, acoustic rendition of “All American Made,” a song which calls to mind “Born In The USA” with its patriotic-sounding title and far more troubled lyrics.

“We actually wrote that song during the Obama administration,” says Price, “but it really altered meaning for me on the day Trump was elected. That song embodies the good and the bad in the ugly in this country. America is so beautiful to me, but it’s in a really hard spot right now. I feel like I was one of the first and only country artists to speak out so openly against Trump, and I had a lot of people tell me I shouldn’t be giving my opinion, but as far as I’m concerned, there’s not a lot of doubt about the difference between right and wrong.”

That candor is part of what makes ‘All American Made’ such a powerful follow-up release. Price could have taken her moment in the spotlight as an opportunity to homogenize and chase a slicker, more polished sound built for radio and arenas, but instead, she doubled down on the grit and the truth in her music. It’s honesty that brought her to this remarkable moment, and honesty that will continue to carry her into the future. How much higher will Margo Price’s star rise? Only time will tell, but just remember, a lot can change in a year.
Sam Outlaw
Sam Outlaw
The future's bright for the young Angeleno
And an old song plays in his head
Far as he knows. . .

These lines from the title track of Sam Outlaw's debut album Angeleno could almost serve as a haiku-like artist bio. Outlaw is a southern Californian singer-songwriter steeped in the music and mythos of west coast country, absorbing the classic vibes of everything from '60s Bakersfield honky-tonk to '70s Laurel Canyon troubadour pop and refashioning them into a sound that's pleasurably past, present and future tense.

"The music I play, I call 'SoCal country,'" says Outlaw. "It's country music but with a Southern California spirit to it. What is it about Southern California that gives it that spirit, I don't exactly know. But there's an idea that I like that says - every song, even happy songs, are written from a place of sadness. If there's a special sadness to Southern California it's that there's an abiding shadow of loss of what used to be. But then, like with any place, you have a resilient optimism as well."

While he explores those shadows on the title track and the elegiac "Ghost Town," Outlaw mostly comes down on the side of the optimists through Angeleno's dozen tracks. Opener "Who Do You Think You Are?" breezes in with south of the border charm, all sunny melody wrapped in mariachi horns, while "I'm Not Jealous" is a honky-tonker with a smart twist on the you-done-me-wrong plot. "Love Her For A While" has the amiable lope of early '70s Poco, "Old Fashioned" the immediacy of a touch on the cheek, and the future Saturday night anthem "Jesus Take The Wheel (And Drive Me To A Bar)" shows Outlaw has a sense of humor to match his cowboy poet nature. Throughout, producers Ry and Joachim Cooder frame the material with spare, tasteful arrangements, keeping the focus on Outlaw's voice. And it's a voice that indeed seems to conjure up California in the same way as Jackson Browne's or Glenn Frey's. Easy on the ears, open-hearted, always with an undertow of melancholy.

Outlaw's journey west began in South Dakota - he was born Sam Morgan -with stops in the midwest before his family finally settled in San Diego. Like many artists, he got the music bug early. But he had serious restrictions on what he could listen to. "I grew up in a conservative Christian home," he explains. "My first real communal experience with music was in church. I always loved harmonizing with other people. And even though I was technically not allowed to listen to the radio, my dad loved the Beatles. My mom loved the Beach Boys and the Everly Brothers. So we listened to oldies radio, and I think got my first sense of melody and harmony from that."

After what he calls an "unfortunate" high school cover band ("We did almost all Oasis," he laughs) and some early stabs at songwriting in college, Outlaw's moment of revelation arrived via the classic country voices of Emmylou Harris and George Jones. "When I first heard them, it totally blew my mind," he says. "I went out the next day and bought Pieces of The Sky and a George Jones compilation. It was the first time I felt like I had a real special connection with music. That's when I started to get more serious about playing the guitar and writing."

After switching gears from a day job in Ad sales to pursue his passion, Outlaw marked the change by borrowing his mother's maiden name for a stage moniker. "The initial impetus for using Outlaw was no more than, 'Hey, this is a name that sounds country and it's a family name, so why not?'" he says. "Now, with my mom having passed away and her being a really strong encouragement in my life towards music, I like using the name as a way of honoring her."

He wasted no time doing his mom proud. A self-released EP in 2014, buzz about his live shows, slots at Stage Coach and AmericanaFest, a video on CMT. Meanwhile, as he prepared to self-produce his first-full length album, his drummer Joachim Cooder played some rough demos for his father, legendary guitarist Ry Cooder.

"When Ry expressed interest in working with me, it was just, 'Holy shit, I can't believe it!'" says Outlaw. "I mean, there's no sweeter person to make a 'country music in Southern California record about Southern California.' He's a master of so many genres."

To get familiar with the material, Cooder sat in with Outlaw's band. "Before we got in the studio, Ry had already played four shows with us. It helped him curate which members of my band would work best for the live tracking. I was thinking that we'd have five rehearsals before the studio, get everything super tight, then go in and knock it out of the park. But Ry said, 'The band knows the songs. Let's leave some room for life to happen when we get in there.' I liked that he had faith in the players and the songs that we didn't need to over-rehearse. And throughout the sessions, he was on top of every nook and cranny of the arrangements. "

Recording in Megawatt Studios in Los Angeles, with a band that included Bo Koster (My Morning Jacket), Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes), Gabe Witcher (Punch Brothers) and Chuy Guzmán (Linda Ronstadt), Outlaw heard the album he always dreamed of coming to life. "Ninety percent of what you're hearing is still the five of us in a room performing a song," he says. "Ry plays on every song, electric and acoustic on the basics. And then all the overdubs he did were just insanely beautiful. He was able to make magic happen on every track.

The resulting record has the timeless feel of those that inspired Outlaw. It is also almost defiantly non-trendy. Does he worry about fitting in with a country scene teeming with bros and Bon Jovi wannabes? "This whole debate about what country music is or isn't, bro country versus traditional, americana versus ameripolitan, it's all pretty boring to me," he says. "I think I made the distinction of SoCal country because I know that people crave classification. Ultimately I think that the music will speak for itself."

As Outlaw gears up to support Angeleno with tour dates opening for Dwight Yoakam and Clint Black ("Two of my heroes," he says), he's hopeful not only for his own record but a comeback of the music he loves. "I've made it a personal mission to remind people how great country music is," he says. "And specifically, I want to remind them that Southern California has a really rich history with country music. Even though there hasn't been a scene here for a long time, there has been a noticeable resurgence. If I can be involved in some kind of revival in the spirit of this music, that would make me very proud."
Venue Information:
Music Hall of Williamsburg
66 North 6th St
Brooklyn, NY, 11249
http://www.musichallofwilliamsburg.com/