We, at New England Country Music, are continuing our series spotlighting women in country music. While the acronym WCW, standing for ‘Women Crush Wednesday,’ is often used for physical attraction, that is not the case here. This series will feature talented women who are crushing it in the country music scene.
This week we’re featuring Ashley McBryde, a tattoo-loving, curly haired, thirty-five-year-old singer and guitarist. She grew up on a cattle farm in rural Mammoth Spring, Arkansas. There was never a dull moment in her home as she was the youngest of six children. McBryde told People Magazine: “Sometimes I wonder if the reason I play guitar is because that’s what there was to do. My dad had a guitar, and there was a mandolin, and my brother had a trumpet and I learned how to play that too. It was cool to grow up in the middle of nowhere. I loved growing up on a farm. Hard, hard work from the time you’re little bitty, it’s so good for your soul and bones.” All farm chores aside, McBryde perfected her guitar playing and wrote her first song at the young age of seventeen.
She attended Arkansas State University where she was an active member of the marching band. Dreaming of becoming a successful country music singer, McBryde made her way to Nashville in 2007. With her newly formed band, she grinded it out in Music City, playing at any bar or restaurant that she possibly could. She went on to compete in Colgate Country Showdown, the largest talent competition to find country music singers from all across the USA. More than 100,000 contestants participate in this contest every year. She won the competition in both 2009 and 2010. In March 2016, she released her first EP, ‘Jalopies & Expensive Guitars.’ This eight-song record is where it all started for McBryde. It was around this time that Eric Church discovered Ashley McBryde and her tremendous talent. In Church’s own words, McBryde is “a whiskey-drinkin’ badass.” What an honor it must have been when Eric Church invited her on-stage at his show and together, they sang her song ‘Bible and a .44.’ She made her Grand Ole Opry debut in June 2017. And in March of 2018, McBryde released her second album, ‘Girl Going Nowhere,’ produced by Jay Joyce. When thinking about this album we can’t help but start singing ‘A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega,’ her most recent single released by Warner Bros. Records Nashville. Who doesn’t want to be “making the best of a worst day kind of night.”
As you might have guessed, ‘Girl Going Nowhere’ got its name from one of McBryde’s own life experience. Her high school algebra teacher asked each student what they were going to be when they grew up. Ashley McBryde responded: “I’m going to move to Nashville and write songs, and they’re going to be on the radio.” The teacher replied: “That won’t happen. You’d better have a good backup plan.” So never doubt yourself and if you have a goal or a dream – Be like Ashley McBryde and go for it.
Consider yourself lucky if you had the opportunity to see Ashley McBryde’s performance at The Sinclair in Cambridge, MA back in December. She will be coming through the area again this summer as she stops in Gilford, NH with Little Big Town on July 5th.
Be sure to download ‘Girl Going Nowhere,’ the title track off her latest album, on iTunes here.
Or check out another one of our favorites, ‘A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega,’ on iTunes here.
Stay tuned for our next installment of WCW in country music. It is set to hit our page on Wednesday, March 13th.