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Margo Price and The Jayhawks with the new and noteworthy


Margo Price, That’s How Rumors Get Started (Loma Vista) – Among several artists who postponed albums this spring, Nashville rising star Price offered the best excuse — her husband fought a bout of COVID-19, as did her album’s producer Sturgill Simpson. As a result, in the three months prior to the July release, songs like “Gone to Stay” and the title track got plenty of YouTube and Spotify traction. What’s evident in the finished product is that Simpson has helped Price package the 10 songs here into the most coherent and polished album of her three studio releases. With Simpson behind the wheel, polished never means over-produced; everything in the album is in its proper place.

The Jayhawks, XOXO (Thirty Tigers) – For their 11th studio album, the members of Minnesota’s Jayhawks had to decide whether to stay centered on the lush harmonies of Gary Louris and Karen Grotberg, or try some unconventional rock moves with other members in the lead. Not surprisingly, they split the difference. The achingly beautiful delivery of songs like “Homecoming” and “Bitter Pill” recalls the band’s ’90s heyday, while other tracks opt for unadorned rock workouts. Though the latter sometimes come across like a typical Poco or Crazy Horse session, it’s still far from filler. With 15 tracks in the bonus edition, there’s more than enough to make this a classic in The Jayhawks canon.

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