From the little town of Mammoth Spring, Arkansas, rooted deep in the Ozark Mountains, comes Ashley McBryde. This singer-songwriter is the real deal with a no bullshit attitude. Many in country critics agree that there has been a lack of strong female country singers in recent years – well, make way for Ashley McBryde. Her new full-length album Girl Going Nowhere, produced by Jay Joyce (Eric Church, Little Big Town), was released on March 30th via Warner Music Nashville and solidifies why she is destined for greatness.
McBryde has a rock-leaning, heartland-based sound, but solidly sits within the mainstream country vibe. However, it’s not only her unique sound and style that stand out… her music has heart and sincerity, allowing her to communicate life experiences in a way that others often cannot. While she’s no stranger to performing with some of the best in the genre, having opened for Willie Nelson, Chris Stapleton, and Eric Church (who invited her on stage to sing “A Bible and a .44” on tour last year), she remains grounded and humble.
Girl Going Nowhere is an autobiographical project in which McBryde co-wrote each of the 11 tracks. Each song is authentic and honest touching on love, pain, struggle, the highs and lows of life with a consistent undertone of never giving up.
The title track was inspired by an algebra teacher who once told McBryde that she’d never achieve her dream of success in music. This would discourage many – but not McBryde. It only fueled her passion: “The lights come up and I hear the band / And where they said I’d never be is exactly where I am / I hear the crowd / I look around and can’t find one empty chair / Not bad for a girl goin’ nowhere.”
“Radioland” recounts her childhood love for her local FM radio station: “We had one country station you could drive and listen all the way to Watertown / Mama kept oldies playin’ in the kitchen turned up just a little too loud / Daddy was a rockstar ridin’ on a tractor listening to Townes Van Zandt / I was 5 years old with a hairbrush microphone growing up in radioland.”
“American Scandal” tells the story of the scandalous relationship between JFK and Marilyn Monroe, but can be applied to various shocking or unusual situations, as McBryde shows in her video for the song.
“Livin’ Next to Leroy” addresses the nations growing addiction epidemic telling the story of a man who takes in young addicts in an effort to help get them sober. This song, in particular, is a standout as it touches upon a deeply troubling issue that’s not often addressed through songs. That’s the beauty of McBryde, she tells it like it is and makes you listen.
“The Jacket” is a perfect example of holding onto a material object because it’s tied to memories or experiences: “It’s got a hole in the elbow, bandana pocket / Silver button missin’ from the snap at the bottom / I said, “That thing’s seen better days, Daddy, you should toss it” / And he just said “Darlin I can’t” / This thing is two-thousand bonfires / A hitchhike to Boulder / It’s kept a million raindrops off your mama’s shoulders / My heart on my sleeve, my life in these patches / Then he wrapped his arms around me in that old jean jacket.”
“Andy (I Can’t Live Without You)” illustrates the push and pull of a relationship. McBryde sings: “You drink my whiskey without asking / You put your boots up on my couch / It drives me crazy to remind you / More than once to take the garbage out / You use my good towels on the dog / That’s the only thing I’ve asked you not to do / Most days I’d love to lock you out / But I can’t live without you”.
The first single released ahead of the album “A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega” parallels a life experience of McBryde’s and is a nod to the working men and women who never give up despite the odds. The bottom line is that Girl Going Nowhere is a must-listen album. It’s honest, relatable and demands attention, much like McBryde herself. Look no further, she’s what we’ve been missing, not only in a strong female country artist, but as an iconic artist.
McBryde will be out on tour this year with Luke Combs and Miranda Lambert, as well playing at some of the country’s largest festivals. For more information follow her socials: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and her website.
Track Listing for ‘Girl Going Nowhere’
- “Girl Goin’ Nowhere” (Ashley McBryde, Jeremy Bussey)
- “Radioland” (McBryde, Autumn McEntire, Chris Roberts)
- “American Scandal” (McBryde, Randall Clay, Terri Jo Box)
- “Southern Babylon” (McBryde, Tommy Collier)
- “The Jacket” (McBryde, Ollicia Rudeen, Neal Cotty)
- “Livin’ Next to Leroy” (McBryde, Nicolette Hayford)
- “A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega” (McBryde, Hayford, Jesse Rice)
- “Andy (I Can’t Live Without You)” (McBryde)
- “El Dorado” (McBryde, Clay, Patrick Savage)
- “Tired of Being Happy” (McBryde, Clay, Blue Foley)
- “Home Sweet Highway” (McBryde, CJ Field, Foley)