- 10 Jul 20
Third Times The Charm
This third album from Price, has, like everything else, been delayed. The initial plan was to put it out in May 2019, but Price was eight months pregnant at the time, so the record was pushed back. Later that year, it was postponed again as she negotiated a new record contract. Then things really got hairy when Price’s husband, guitarist Jeremy Ivey, contracted the COVID-19 virus.
During all this, Price still managed a fine stopgap live album, Perfectly Imperfect At The Ryman, taken from 2018 recordings, which reminded anyone listening why this record was worth waiting for.
Price has moved on from the more countrified atmosphere of her previous, equally worth your while, albums. Nashville and environs is still there in the background, but there’s nothing as Loretta-ish as, say, ‘Weakness’ from All American Made. Instead we get the twangier end of a Stevie Nicks/Fleetwood Mac on the piano-lead title track, all the way to the marvellous gospel soul of the road weary ‘Prisoner Of The Highway’.
Price’s long-time friendship with country/soul/rock n’ roll firebrand, Sturgill Simpson saw him offer to produce her last record. She’s accepted this time, and you can hear Simpson’s backing vocals on toe-tapping tale of broken promises, ‘Letting Me Down’. The fuzzed-up ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ recalls, slightly, the disco blues of his Sound & Fury, although the stronger Sheryl Crow records are a better reference point.
‘Stone Me’ and ‘Hey Child’ are highlights, the former berating a man “who calls me a bitch, then you call me baby” and the latter a song from Price’s old band, Buffalo Clover, dragged back into the light at Simpson’s prompting, and a good thing too, as the building choruses allow Price’s voice to display its impressive range.
The keyboards that drive ‘Heartless Mind’ might be sporting leg warmers they’re so eighties, ‘Gone To Stay’ is a lovely ode from the road to her kids back at home, ‘What Happened to Our Love’ sounds like its title, until that voice heads off to the stratosphere again, and the record finishes with ‘I’d Die For You’, a sparse declaration made believable by those mighty pipes.
You can point at influences – a bit of Dolly there, a bit of Bobbie Gentry over here - but this is Price’s own thing. She’s spoken out before about the problems of getting radio play listed on Hat & Pick-Up Truck FM. Those programmers should wash their ears out and listen to this.