The first car Margo Price ever owned was a Nineties-something silver Saturn that she bought with money she saved from lifeguarding — and promptly wrecked in her parents’ driveway. Rushing home from her boyfriend’s to make midnight curfew, she put it in park and dashed inside. Or thought she did.
“I woke up the next morning and they had it up on a tow truck. I came out in my underwear and T-shirt because I thought it was a bad dream,” she says. “My dad got home from working second shift and found my car in the ditch. It was in neutral.”
On this late July evening in Nashville, the country singer is climbing behind the wheel of a 2018 Ford F-150. She grins when she fires up the diesel engine. This F-150 is the tricked-out King Ranch edition — air-conditioned seats that massage your ass as you drive; a cab that could fit a small band; leather trim — and Price wants to go for a joyride. A lifelong Ford fan, she owns a 2016 F-150 herself, as well as a trucker hat that reads, I’D RATHER PUSH A FORD THAN DRIVE A CHEVY. “My truck has a sunroof though,” she quips.
Cueing up Billy Joe Shaver’s dark but hell-raising “Ragged Old Truck” (“the greatest song about a truck ever”) on the Bang and Olufsen stereo system, Price takes off down a narrow road that runs near the countryside home she shares with husband and bandmate Jeremy Ivey. Braking to let some deer pass by, she has a devilish thought: “I’d like to find a big open field that we could go rip some donuts in.”
Price doesn’t get to do much driving these days with a busy schedule that takes her from the Newport Folk Festival to the Hollywood Bowl (she is currently on tour through December). But in the early days, she drove her group to gigs, pulling their gear in a rented trailer. “I could barely pay them anything, so the least I could do is drive,” she says, marveling at the F-150’s 13,200-lb. towing capacity. “We had a Ford Explorer and a U-Haul on the back!”
In the title track to her 2017 LP All American Made, Price sings, “Something in my bloodline or something in my gut, says to go to California in a rusted pickup truck.”
“It’s a beautiful thing to drive across this country,” she says. “There’s nothing like driving through the desert and arriving in California and looking at that coast for the first time.”
It helps, though, if you have a valid license. Price learned that the hard way when she got pulled over on the way to the gym recently for expired tags. She had to make an emergency visit to the DMV before she could drive this F-150. ” I was joking with my husband. It’s not that I’m an outlaw,” Price laughs, “I’m just lazy.”