Coming On Christmas: See Margo Price’s Take On Joni Mitchell’s ‘River’

Price has shared a video of herself giving a poignant solo performance of the song, seated at the electric piano.

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Margo-Price-Bobbi Rich
Photo: Bobbi Rich

Margo Price has paid tribute to a hallowed singer-songwriter by releasing her version of Joni Mitchell’s timeless song “River” on Loma Vista Recordings.

The song, with its stark but festive aura, sees Price delivering a message to her fans for the holiday season. A statement reads: “With the song, Margo sends fans a message of peace and love for the rest of the year, and the hope for 2021 to be everything 2020 wasn’t.”

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She has shared a video of herself giving a poignant solo performance of the song, seated at the electric piano, acknowledging her creative debt to Mitchell, one of her favorite artists. It was recorded at Pulse Studios in Nashville, after Price first performed it in the fall at the Village of Love online benefit for Planned Parenthood. She starred at the fundraiser alongside Bright Eyes, Brittany Howard, Tenacious D and many others.

Writing on social media today, Price reflected: “Songs are like tattoos, ‘River’ by Joni Mitchell is one of mine. I recorded a version, just me on the piano and it’s out on all platforms today.”

The new track arrives just ahead of the artist’s previously-announced takeover of the Stardust Drive-In Theater, just outside Nashville, for the double bill film night called A Perfectly Imperfect Night at The Movies. The program will include both the premiere of her Perfectly Imperfect at The Ryman live film, and last year’s documentary Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice.

“River” was an unforgettable part of Mitchell’s landmark 1971 album Blue, and it has gone on to be covered more than 400 times. Ronstadt, indeed, recorded the song for her holiday album of 2000, A Merry Little Christmas. Others to cut it have included Dave Van Ronk (1973), the Indigo Girls and Rosanne Cash (both in 1995), Dianne Reeves (1999), Barry Manilow (2002), and James Taylor (2004). In 2019, Ellie Goulding took a version to No.1 in the UK.

Perfectly Imperfect at The Ryman can be bought here.

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