Take the voice of Terri Clark, add Dolly Parton’s songwriting, and throw in Bonnie Raitt’s guitar skills and you get a talented new artist named Ashley McBryde. This free-spirited singer-songwriter pens honest, country lyrics and has a raw twang in her voice that can be heard on her self-titled debut album.
McBryde describes her sound as “… sort of a rag-tag gypsy kind of thing. It’s classy-trashy, it’s a very clean dirty, it’s got a little trailer on it, and its probably lived in the back of a covered wagon most of its life.”
The winner of the state of Arkansas’ 2004 Colgate Country Showdown songwriting competition is honored to call Carl Jackson, songwriter for artists such as Garth Brooks, Vince Gill, and Ricky Skaggs, her mentor from age 12. She has opened for Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Artemis Pyle’s self-titled band, blues singer Barbara Blue, country artist Chris Cagle, and played gigs at the world-famous honky-tonk, Tootsies. After winning over huge audiences in Jonesboro and Memphis, she made her lifelong dream come true when she moved to Nashville in 2007.
McBryde grew up on a farm in Mammoth Springs, AR, with a big musical family of eight. Her dad gave her a mandolin to play at age four, because she couldn’t leave his guitars alone. Never the shy type, she got her first taste of singing in front of an audience when she was invited on stage a year later to sing while at one of the many bluegrass festivals her family attended. By the time she was nine, she had outgrown the mandolin, moved on to learn the guitar, and had written her first real song, “Fight the Flames”, at age 12. Years later, while playing at her friend’s house, she was given the nickname “Ashley Guitar” because of her love of the instrument.
In October 2005, McBryde recorded her self-titled album at a private studio in Nashville. Released in January 2006, this heart-wrenching album displays simple and honest lyrics that run the gamut of emotions. McBryde describes her album as “something you would put in and listen to if you were driving in the rain.”
Her CD features her playing the acoustic guitar and lyrics that paint a picture way beyond her years. Her music can make people tear up, or light their eyes up with joy. She’s had people dancing when there was no dance floor and captivated the audiences’ attention when conversation once filled the room.
Carl Jackson gave the young writer some advice regarding her songwriting that she carries with her. She said he explained it to her by saying, “You’re not the one writing the songs. The songs are writing you. You have no idea that you are writing the soundtrack to your life.”
Learn more about Ashley McBryde www.AshleyMcBryde.com
This article originally appeared on BroadJam.
Video: www.youtube.com Ashley McBryde