To celebrate the beginning of December, Margo Price has released a Christmas-themed cover of Joni Mitchell’s “River”, taken from her iconic 1971 album Blue. According to a press release, she decided to record it to send fans “a message of peace and love for the rest of the year, and the hope for 2021 to be everything 2020 wasn’t.”
Price’s cover of “River” opens with the refrain from “Jingle Bells” before turning to Mitchell’s descriptive first verse about skating away from her problems. It’s a stripped-down rendition on piano, and the That’s How Rumors Get Started singer makes it her own by lacing it with plenty of heart, perfect-pitch falsettos, and gentle chord progressions that go for the tear ducts.
To coincide with the release, Price has also shared a video of herself performing the song live. All dressed up in her finest snow-colored dress, Price sits upright at a piano in Nashville’s own Pulse Studios and coos the words to “River”. Seeing her actually play the song while singing it, it’s clear that Price is as moved by the number as it sounds like she is during the recorded version. Watch it below.
If cover songs were a currency, Price would be rich from the tracks she’s performed this year alone. Over the past few months, she’s stayed busy by playing hits by John Prine, Bob Dylan, and Tom Petty. In her off time, she’s also paid tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg and started some beef with the County Music Awards, because it wouldn’t be 2020 without a little drama.
Of course, Price’s own music is also worth celebrating; in fact, That’s How Rumors Get Started ranks among our favorite 50 albums of 2020.