Raw talent combined with a whiskey washed sense of humor has been used to describe singer-songwriter Ashley McBryde. Mentor and famed co-writer, Lisa Carver (Reba McEntire, Willie Nelson), described her as a “writer’s writer.” Put her on a stage and you will see and hear that she is the nicest bad girl you’ve ever met.
Set to release in June, Ashley is currently finishing up her latest album in Nashville at Hot Haus Studio with producer Mike Holmes. As the writer or co-writer of every song on the album, this work shows you the lyrical narrative Ashley is able to weave together that can make you wish longingly for an old flame or stomp your boot on the barroom floor. The 11-song Americana -Country album was performed by seasoned veterans such as drummer Ed Greene (The Temptations, B.B. King), bassist Bob Marinelli (Larry Gatlin), and guitarist Lauren Ellis (Rita Coolidge, Nell Carter). Tracks like “Marlboro Man” and “Little Tragedy” guide you through heartache and loss, while “Holy Water” and “Break It Fast” show you her naughty, playful side.
Ashley says, “This CD is a collection of loose ends and lullabies. Each tune is a tiny little confession. Call it an occupational hazard…My dirty laundry is sometimes your entertainment and sometimes yours is mine.”
Ashley released her self-titled debut album in January 2006. This heart-wrenching album displays simple and honest lyrics that run the gamut of emotions. Ashley describes her album as “one of the ones you can turn to when you’re hurting. Use the songs to get through a rough patch, to face one ahead, or celebrate one you’ve just come through.” Her CD features her playing the acoustic guitar and lyrics that paint a picture way beyond her years.
As the reigning Tennessee state champion of the Colgate Country Showdown for 2009 and 2010, Ashley’s list of accomplishments speaks for itself. In 2010, her band was named the best band in Southern Tennessee at the Battle of the Bands in Lewisburg, TN. She has opened for acts such as Chris Cagle, Johnny Lee and the Urban Cowboys, and Point of Grace. She has hosted her own round at the prestigious Bluebird Cafe, and can be seen playing around Nashville at The Commodore Grille and Cadillac Ranch. Ashley is currently playing regular shows in Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee to promote the release of her upcoming album.
Johnny Lee once told her, “Honey, I can tell you’re gonna do this the rest of your life. Now if you never make it big…That doesn’t matter. But if you quit before you die…It’ll matter the rest of your life. It’s in your blood.”
One of Ashley’s biggest influences, Carl Jackson, gave her some advice regarding her songwriting that she carries with her. He said, “You’re not the one writing the songs, the songs are writing you. You have no idea that you are writing the soundtrack to your life.”