Ashley McBryde Brings ‘Lindeville’ To The Ryman, New Artists To Light

Ashley McBryde/Instagram
Country Living, Country Music, Country Music News, News
Tresa Patterson

Unflinchingly, Ashley McBryde, declares her personal truth more powerfully and transparently than any country music artist standing under the footlights in Nashville. In fact, from the time McBryde quoted her teacher’s demeaning dressing down as her title song for Girl Going Nowhere to her latest triumph, Ashley McBryde Presents Lindeville, the uncompromising artist never strays from the truth.

Sometimes, the truth is heartrending, and sometimes it is hilarious. Usually, it is a mixture of both sensations. Ashley McBryde takes an immensely bold step to bring a concept album into the realm of country music, and this week, as Yahoo! News details, the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter for I Never Wanted To Be That Girl (along with Carly Pearce) dared to take her saga of small-town Lindeville to the “Mother Church” of country music, the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

Ashley McBryde and friends go live with ‘Lindeville’

Memorably, Country Music Alley covered one of the most memorable days of Ashley McBryde’s life back in October of last year. The Never Will artist started a CBS Mornings chat with Gayle King discussing the process of creating the chronicle of Lindeville characters and ended by accepting an invitation into the Grand Ole Opry from Garth Brooks.

Of course, not every morning brings that kind of delight. Still, Ashley McBryde and her very willing and talented crew of friends delivered a very special series of nights for fans. The opener for the night was Brenda Put Your Bra On, complete with showers of brassieres filling the stage. Lainey Wilson filled in for Caylee Hammack with Ashley McBryde and Pillbox Patti. The ladies’ haul of undergarments rivaled that of any male artist back in the day.

As it happens, Shelly Fairchild sang in The Missed Connection Section of the Lindeville Gazette with Aaron Ratiere to fine approval from the audience, standing in for Brandy Clark. The incredible power of Ashley McBryde Presents Lindeville lies in its way of capturing so much pure truth, pathos, empathy, and laughter all in so few lines, in every one of its songs. This is why it earned Ashley McBryde yet another Best Country Album Grammy nomination.

McBryde wants country music to do more

As always, Ashley McBryde professes her personal gospel for inclusion, empowerment, and holding to “three chords and the truth,” as Harlan Howard defined so well.  Besides the rainbow colors displayed in the hair of her audience, McBryde invited local drag performers to be in the aisles and on stage to offer their talents. At the same time, the Tennessee state legislature is proposing to ban or curtail such performances altogether.

In the same audience, there are folks that are everyone’s friends, neighbors, and family– all singing the “Lindeville” stories together.  Ashley McBryde admonished the crowd that she wanted more “real” in country music, not just “music that is trying to sell you a mattress.” The same can be said of a Ford F-150, margarine, or a million other products.

On the contrary, Ashley McBryde aimed to create an album to make her listeners “feel smarter or better for hearing it.” The Arkansas native yearned for the songs to make “chins drop” or give infectious smiles. She wanted the album to be whispered about from friend to friend, beyond streaming numbers.

That kind of reaction happened once more at the Ryman. There was a stuffed toy husky onstage for If These Dogs Could Talk. Apart from that, Ashley McBryde and company were all real to the core for two divine nights.

Almost reverently, the show closes with Goodbye Earl, the omnipresent, empowering Dixie Chicks song penned by Dennis Linde. The songwriter’s audacious artistry inspires all of “Lindeville.”

McBryde turns to mentor again

Many creative talents in country music spend time cultivating young, gifted artists deserving of their break. In the case of Ashley McBryde, however, she makes the effort a priority.  Already, in 2020, Ashley became the First Artist Ambassador of the CMA’s United Voices for Music Education. Now, McBryde joins friends again on a mission to discover talents with that indefinable something and storytelling with the truth.

As USA Today conveys, Ashley McBryde joins Lainey Wilson, Jimmie Allen, Dustin Lynch, and Kat & Luna in the launch of Tractor Supply and Opry Entertainment’s partnership launch of their Emerging Artists Program.

“Ashley McBryde will support new artists in a manner similar to American Idol and Opry NextStage,” according to the release statement. Through March 15, emerging artists are welcome to submit original songs inspired by the Tractor Supply Out Here lifestyle. Five hopefuls will be chosen and announced from the submitted entries in May. Then, each one will pair with a unique mentor.

The competition intends to broaden both artists and audiences drawn to country music. The selected finalists have opportunities to hone their gifts on some of the most famous stages in Music City. Country music is making room for every story and every voice to fill its table. Ashley McBryde started that mission from the very beginning.

Have you listened to Ashley McBryde Presents Lindeville? Would you like to see it live? Give a shout in the comments and keep up with Ashley McBryde by staying tuned into Country Music Alley.

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