Ashley McBryde is the most successful and accomplished unsuccessful artist in all of country music at the moment. In a relatively short period, she’s racked up CMA and Grammy Awards along with scores of nominations that most artists would kill for. She’s been inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. For those who read silly little music websites, she feels like a superstar already. After all, she was nominated for Female Artist of the Year during the last rounds of both the CMA and ACM Awards.
But aside from her collaboration with Carly Pearce on “Never Wanted To Be That Girl,” Ashley McBryde has never even had a Top 10 radio hit. Her career’s had a very early Kacey Musgraves feel it it—a critical darling that doesn’t rack up big radio hits or gaudy sales numbers. But unlike Kacey Musgraves, Ashley McBryde has the grit to let you know she won’t be jumping ship to pop anytime soon.
We knew with McBryde’s last album Welcome to Lindeville, it wasn’t going to be a big commercial success. It was too good and too real to be concerned with that. It was a shame though that it barely even charted at all. But we can hope that through McBryde’s new album The Devil I Know set to be released on September 8th, Ashley goes from an artist that critics and Americana fans rave over, to an artist that everyone does.
In some respects, McBryde may have been a little too early for the current upswing we’ve seen in quality songs and songwriters in the mainstream, as well as the increased attention deserving women are finally receiving. Now, the timing might be right for an Ashley McBryde breakout after the rising success of Lainey Wilson, Megan Moroney, and others. The success of “Never Wanted To Be That Girl” also put Ashley on the radar of a lot of new folks.
What we have come to know about Ashley McBryde is that she’s not going to cater her songs or her sound to whatever the popular flavor of the day happens to be. She’s more interested in staying true to herself, wherever that takes her.
“‘Y’all are too country,'” Ashley McBryde says, mocking her critics. “We leaned into that – more country it is. ‘Y’all are awfully rock leaning for a country artist.’ Is that so? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. ‘Last thing y’all need is another tender, finger pickin’ song.’ Oh? Tender makes you uneasy, cowboy? I hear you. Let’s see how much more tender we can be. We listened to all those opinions and said, ‘I hear you. I understand what you’re saying.’ But sadly, there’s no room on the record for your opinion. We’ll do what we want.”
Warner Music Nashville has given Ashley McBryde a lot of latitude in her career—much more than we saw from major labels in previous eras—believing that ultimately McBryde’s creative aptitude and knack for storytelling will pay off. Once again McBryde solicits the services of Jay Joyce as producer for the new album, and she utilizes her backing band Deadhorse as well.
A few songs have already been released from the album, including McBryde’s current single “Light On In The Kitchen,” and the song “Learned To Lie” that was released to coincide with the album announcement. The latter song once again shows off Ashley McBryde’s knack for storytelling. “After it was written, I called my mom to let her know that I had told a little bit more of our story as a family,” says McBryde. “I said, ‘It’s going to be hard to hear, but none of it is untrue.’”
The Devil I Know is now available of pre-save/pre-order.
- Made For This (Ashley McBryde and Travis Meadows)
- Coldest Beer in Town (Ashley McBryde, Autumn McEntire and Nicolette Hayford)
- Light On In The Kitchen (Ashley McBryde, Jessi Alexander and Connie Harrington)
- Women Ain’t Whiskey (Ashley McBryde, Hillary Lindsey, Jon Nite and Chris LaCorte)
- Learned To Lie (Ashley McBryde, Nicolette Hayford and Sean McConnell)
- The Devil I Know (Ashley McBryde, Jeremy Stover and Bobby Pinson)
- Single At The Same Time (Ashley McBryde, Benjy Davis and Andy Albert)
- Cool Little Bars (Ashley McBryde, Trick Savage and Lainey Wilson)
- Whiskey and Country Music (Ashley McBryde, John Osborne and Lee Thomas Miller)
- Blackout Betty (Ashley McBryde, Aaron Raitiere and Nicolette Hayford)
- 6th Of October (Ashley McBryde, Blue Foley and CJ Field)