Ask Ashley McBryde to describe her new album, Never Will, and she has an immediate response, but it's probably not what you think. The 36-year-old bravely calls it a little bit of everything, including country, rock, and her own version of white trash.
"My favorite thing about the record is people say, 'Well, for a country band you sure are rock and roll,' and, 'For a country band, you sure do you have a lot of bluegrass in you,'" McBryde told PopCulture.com. "Yeah, we do actually. In fact, my bass player's a Motown guy. My lead guitar player, he's a jazz guy. Me and the mandolin player, we're bluegrass kids and the guy on the drums, he's originally from a space fusion rock band.
"So this is what it sounds like," she continued. "This is what it sounds like when a goody two shoes, which is the drummer, he doesn't smoke or drink. The nice guy on the guitar, the hippie on bass, the weirdo on mandolin, and white trash on acoustic guitar. That's what this record sounds like."
When asked to clarify, McBryde explains she is, in fact, the person on acoustic guitar.
"I'm white trash!" McBryde boasted. "I love it. It wasn't too long ago ... We were at a show and somebody in the crowd had said, 'She's nothing but white trash.' And Chris, my mandolin player was standing there and I said, 'I am white trash, but I'm white trash with three Grammy nominations and an ACM and a CMA. Thank you very much.'"
Many of the songs on Never Will, including her current single, "One Night Standards," are perfectly reminiscent of McBryde's early days, playing in smoky bars in and around her home state of Arkansas.
"I've played so long in those trucker bars and everything," McBryde reflected. "I have such a huge spot in my heart because there was a time where it was 60,000 miles a year just me and my dog Banjo in my truck and I felt protected by 18-wheelers. I thought they were my big brothers on the road."
McBryde wrote most, but not all, of the songs on Never Will, in part because of her deep, deep love for the songwriting community in Nashville.
"It's still important to me to be the creation part of the process, but now I'm learning this other skill, which is the recognition," McBryde explained. "Where I go, 'That's a wonderful song and it fits me,' because it can! The song 'Shameless' is a wonderful song. I shouldn't be cutting it. And so learning where those lines are has been really, really cool."
McBryde already dropped a song and video trilogy, which included "One Night Standards, "Martha Divine" and "Hang in There Girl," but she insists there's a story to be found in all of the songs.
"There is a common thread here and we can have characters, like Martha, be the main focus of a song that is not their song," McBryde explained. "Martha could be the one from 'One Night Standards' and once we made that connection, we were able to arc all 11 songs together."0comments
Order Never Will at AshleyMcBryde.com.
Photo Credit: Getty Images for CMT/Viacom