We all know the unbridled talent that is Ashley McBryde, yet I am still amazed and reminded throughout all of her live performances how dang good she is. Not only is she good every time, but she is so spot-on with her vocals, it’s like listening to the record.
Since the release of her fifth studio album, The Devil I Know, the title track has been a consistent play in my music rotation. The track perfectly encapsulates the inner struggles of changing to fit in or embracing what you know. It’s an internal dialog that we all experience, and McBryde encourages listeners to stick to their guns and do what is best for them.
“We’re all the time time hearing somethin’ from somebody who thinks they know what’s best for us. Lose weight, your hair’s too curly, change this, change that.
When things just seems to go better when you trust your own lens to see what’s good for you, stick to the devil you know.”
While the track tells a beautiful story, McBryde’s vocals and the melody make the track. And live, the track is somehow better than I ever dreamed.
At a recent intimate show, McBryde laid down a phenomenal performance of “The Devil I Know.” It appears from the intro that she is performing at an industry event, as she jokingly says it’s never nerve-racking performing in front of peers.
“It’s not nerve-racking at all to play the songs in front of the people that are responsible for giving you shows and writing the songs with you. We were discussing before the set that if my banter is a little off, it’s because these people will know when I am lying.”
With that, McBryde jumps into the verse line of the song. Her vocals appear effortless as the pitch-perfect notes leave her lips.
The vampy stage backdrop fits the album’s theme, and the lighting team does a great job of having the stage production match the track’s tempo. With intense light flashes during the guitar chugs that occur right before the pre-chorus breakdown.
“Momma says, get my ass to church Daddy says, get my ass to work Doctor says I gotta give up on these smokes Everybody’s got something to say About how I gotta change my ways But I got something to say of my own…”
It’s dang near a flawless performance. Once again, highlighting why Ashley McBryde is one of the best in the business.