Since May, Margo Price’s live album Perfectly Imperfect at The Ryman has been quietly hanging out at Bandcamp, raising money for the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund. Last Friday, the recording was released to the streaming services, while plans were announced for a vinyl release along with a companion concert film.
The album and documentary come out of the acclaimed singer/songwriter’s three night stand at the Ryman Auditorium in May of 2018, the first time she had headlined the venue. She told WMOT on Friday in an interview alongside her husband and band mate Jeremy Ivey that as with every country artist, it was a personal goal and landmark: “We both used to work at Robert’s and Layla’s and take the garbage out and look at that entrance back there and just dream about playing, so it’s great to get this out there into the world.”
Indeed as a singer/songwriter, Price ground it out at the edge of financial viability for more than a decade before being signed to Third Man Records, releasing the 2016 album Midwest Farmer’s Daughter and earning the adoration of critics and hard country music fans. In 2019 she was nominated as the nation’s top emerging artist at the Grammy Awards. This year Price released her third album, the roots rock leaning That’s How Rumors Get Started.
With a string section and a cast of harmony singers invited from Price’s Music City community, the 2018 Ryman shows marked a confluence of the old and new waves of independent country music from or associated with Nashville, including guest appearances by Jack White, Sturgill Simpson and Emmylou Harris.
Price says she and her band meticulously worked out sets and surprises for each night.
“There was so much planning and so much time on the road playing at other venues and kind of like practicing and getting different sets so everything would be different and each night would be unique,” she says. “That took like six months of planning and I always joke that we put more time and money into planning those Ryman shows than we did into our own wedding.”
December 4 is release day for both the LP and the film, which will premiere as a ticketed streamed double feature with the acclaimed 2019 documentary Linda Ronstadt: The Sound Of My Voice. Tickets can be found here.
The full interview with Price and Ivey is being readied for an upcoming episode of The String on WMOT.
The first preview of Margo Price's concert film from the Ryman was released on Friday.