Ashley McBryde paid tribute to country music icon Loretta Lynn during the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's recent fundraiser Big Night (At the Museum), which paired country stars with iconic instruments. McBryde played Loretta Lynn's 1956 Gibson J-50 guitar while performing Lynn's hit "You're Lookin' At Country."
"Wow, is it weird to smell it?" McBryde joked as she picked up the instrument before her performance. "I'm worried about my hands sweating on her neck." Lynn released "You're Lookin' At Country" in 1971, and the song peaked at No. 5 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles chart and went on to become one of Lynn's signature songs.
"I had to write 'You're Lookin' At Country' as a love song or it wouldn't sell," she told Jimmy Guterman in the liner notes for the 1994 box set Honky Tonk Girl: The Loretta Lynn Collection. "But it wasn't a love song. I got the idea from looking at my land. I wanted to write what I saw."
Other performers during Big Night (At the Museum) included Tim McGraw, Miranda Lambert, Kane Brown, Brad Paisley, Reba McEntire and more. While the show was free, viewers were encouraged to donate to the Museum through YouTube Giving and over $590,000 has been raised so far.
McBryde performed solo during the fundraiser and recently told Taste of Country that "it's really awful" to be away from her band amid the coronavirus pandemic. "Our front-of-house engineer moved to Seattle. Our lead guitar player moved back to Indiana. My monitor engineer is a barback now," she shared. "So we've all kind of scattered. We still get together for rehearsals, and we still text each other and try to stay as close-knit as we can."
"To keep the lights on, we've all had to take on whatever gigs we can," McBryde added. "Our love and our joy for each other hasn't changed, but, man, it sure is a weird feeling to not be with those guys every day."
The singer noted that she knows she needs to stay busy in order to continue feeling good, which means she had to think of new ways to get creative this year. "I've said it before, but a dog, like a cattle dog, is a great dog — unless you don't let it do its purpose and you don't let it burn that energy," she said. "Then it eats your shoes. So I don't wanna be a s—ty dog. I wanna know my purpose and accomplish it every day."