Ashley McBryde: Girl Going Everywhere


“I have a soul the devil wouldn’t buy.”

Those are the first few words that fell out of Ashley McBryde’s mouth as she settled into our interview.

The Arkansas native and a member of the CMT Next Women of Country program speaks in lyrics even when she’s not trying. At the time, she was talking about a road trip to Florida with her father. While driving through Mississippi, she told him she wanted to visit the original crossroads where bluesman Robert Johnson allegedly sold his soul to the devil only to come back and play the hell out of a guitar.

“I’m little. I’m pale. I’m not strong. But bad things are scared of me,” McBryde said. “I think it’s because my dad was a preacher growing up, and I was raised in the Church of Christ. So I was raised to believe you’re going to hell no matter what. And I have always had that feeling that if a demon walked in the door right now, I’d be like, ‘You can’t be in here.’ And he’d be like, ‘[Expletive], I am not messing with that one.’”

McBryde’s highly anticipated debut Girl Going Nowhere sets up the powerhouse vocalist as one of the most admired storytellers to emerge from Music Row in the last decade. She is part of a rising class of introspective musicians who came up through the local songwriting community where they don’t tend to mince words. They make them count with every breath of their being. Many of the co-writers on Girl Going Nowhere are ones she connected with through the many songwriter rounds around town.

“They closed the Blue Bar a few weeks ago,” she said of the Midtown hang where she could be found singing on Wednesdays. “There were Monday nights at Dan McGuinness for ‘Guinness Girls,’ Tuesday nights at the Rusty Nail in Hermitage for ‘Trucker Hat Tuesday’ and Wednesday at the Blue Bar for the Music Row Freak Show with Terry Jo Box and Bobby Pinson. We’re all friends now.”


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