This week, Casey’s pick is the “Shotgun Willie” cover by Margo Price! Originally a Willie Nelson song, Margo Price covers the classic hit as a feature on the upcoming tribute album which is set to release on April 28, a day before Willie’s 90th birthday. The tribute album, One Night in Texas: The Next Waltz’s Tribute to the Red-Headed Stranger, will also be featuring covers from Sheryl Crow, Steve Earle, as well as Ray Wylie Hubbard. The acclaimed singer-songwriter Bruce Robison will be producing the record.
Originally from Illinois, Price developed her passion for music by playing piano and singing in her local church choir. After studying dance and theater in college, Price dropped out at age 20 and packed her bags for Music City. She first began to generate buzz with her band Margo & The Pricetags, featuring the future country music star Sturgill Simpson. After deciding to go solo, her first album after Margo & The Pricetags attracted the attention of Third Man Records, who signed her in 2016. Her second album, All American Made, peaked on the Billboard Country music charts at #12. This eventually earned the singer a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist in 2019. Since then, Price has continued taking the Nashville country music scene by storm.
The song was first released in 1973 as the title track of Nelson’s sixteenth album, later becoming a legendary hit song in country music. Price explains, “‘Shotgun Willie’ has always been one of my favorite Willie Nelson recordings. It’s got such a sick groove and cool, abstract lyrics that, to me, define country funk as a genre. This song was one of the recordings that influenced my work because it so seamlessly blended genres.” Price’s take on this classic is a refreshing blend of Nelson’s brilliant songwriting style and the singer’s hard-hitting, fierce vocal chops. Lyrically, the song outlines Nelson’s experience after learning his daughter was being abused by her husband. Overwhelmed with outrage, he instigated a shootout with the husband, earning him the nickname “Shotgun Willie”.
Tune in all week to hear Margo Price’s rendition of “Shotgun Willie”. Local fans can catch her next show at The Ryman Auditorium on March 9. Stay updated on future releases via her website here.
Check out “Shotgun Willie” on YouTube below: