Anyone paying attention knows Ashley McBryde is a whiskey drinking badass.
The Chief said so himself…
Back in 2017, Eric brought Ashley out for a performance of “Bible and a .44” and called her one of his “favorite artist right now.”
“I mentioned I had a guest and there’s a young lady here who I have become a massive fan of and you guys are gonna be a massive fan of her real soon. She’s just starting this journey of her career and she’s unquestionable my favorite artist out right now that’s not out yet, but she will be real soon. So I invited her to come out and just here and I are gonna do an acoustic song that she wrote. And she’s a whiskey drinking badass, that’s what she is… please make welcome miss Ashley McBryde.”
Ashley has spent years playing the bar scene, making nothing, struggling with family validation, losing a brother… she’s been through it all. But those failures, sacrifices and eventual victories fuel every song she writes, illuminating her voice in a way that only authentic experiences can.
But to the casual “I only listen to country radio” country music fans, they know her as “The One Night Standards” singer, right?” Nothing against that song, it’s great and her highest charting single to date, but she has so many other gems on her latest album Never Will, as well as her debut major label project Girl Going Nowhere.
The problem with using country radio as your only source of new music is that so many great songs (album cuts) remain hidden unless you purposefully go looking for them. But what happens if your singles don’t even get played? How will fans even know to look? The issues with radio play in country music are well-documented, but Ashley McBryde deserves way more respect in an industry that give tons of lip service to promoting female artists but has put little of the talk into action. It’s up to us, the fans, to push Ashley so far up the totem pole that she can’t be ignored.
And I know she is starting to make a bigger name for herself. She’s fresh off a Top 20 Song in “One Night Standards,” she recently performed at the CMA’s while also being nominated for Album of the Year, and her album Girl Going Nowhere was also Grammy nominated, along with the title track.
And while that might sound like an impressive list of accomplishments, especially given the fact that many artists are struggling to even get noticed at all, her name still always feels like an afterthought, not an artist at the forefront of the conversation.
In a recent interview, she was even asked “who is underappreciated in Nashville right now?” She gave an A+ answer mentioning Tyler Childers, but at the same time, I’m over here screaming “YOU ARE ASHLEY.” Of course, she’s too humble to say herself, so I guess I’ll just do it for her.
I’ll leave it with this…. for the fans that aren’t very familiar with more of her deep cuts, “Voodoo Doll” is the perfect example just how good Ashley McBryde is.
The phenomenal piece of writing compares the pain of your ex finding someone new to them using a voodoo doll on you, and those gritty, full notes are beyond impressive. Check out this chorus:
“I keep smelling cigarettes Feel that pretty black dress slipping off her back I don’t drink rum but I’m tasting it Rolling off her tongue, every drop, you ain’t wastin’ it Those lips on her neck, needle in my chest Ooh, she’s makin’ my skin crawl You got yourself a voodoo doll Voodoo Doll”
I get chills every time listening to it. Her ability to tie the softer verses with the hard chorus is just, just… I don’t know, words don’t even do it justice.
Ashley McBryde deserves more recognition and we can make it happen. When it comes to flat out talent in country music, few can touch her…. and I’m more than willing to die on that hill.