Opinion | Keep on doing what you’re doing, McBryde


Photo Courtesy of Benjichilders

Ashley McBryde performing at the Lyric in Oxford, Mississippi, on January 31, 2020.

By Noah Nelson, Senior Columnist

Standing in the coveted circle on the same stage where so many artists have gone before her, singer-songwriter Ashley McBryde debuted at country music’s most prestigious venue, the Grand Ole Opry, in the heart of music city, Nashville, in 2017. While fingerpicking the heartwarming biographical song that put her on the map, “Girl Goin’  Nowhere,” McBryde sang, “It took a whole lot of ‘Yes I wills’ and ‘I Don’t Cares’ / A whole lot of basement dives and county fairs / To this show right now and y’all sure look good out there / Not bad for a girl goin’ nowhere.”

She’s a girl going somewhere alright. She’s taking the country music world by storm. Despite discouragement on following her dreams from a high school algebra teacher years ago, fans of the genre cannot thank the Arkansas-native enough for keeping her eyes on the prize. And neither can I.

Beginning her career in Nashville in 2007, McBryde didn’t get truly discovered until a few years ago when Eric Church invited her on stage at one of his live shows to sing her song “Bible and a .44” with him. Soon after, she released her first single “A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega.” This led to a Grammy-nominated album named after the song she sang at her Opry debut performance, which features hits like “Radioland,” “American Scandal,” “The Jacket” and “Livin’ Next to Leroy.”

McBryde kept her stride, playing fan favorite songs and also new tunes at shows when she joined the likes of Luke Combs and Miranda Lambert on the road. Even with a new album to release in April titled  “Never Will,” which features a trilogy of already released songs, including “One Night Standards,” “Martha Devine” and “Hang In There Girl,” she is making a name for herself by embarking on her own headlining tours.

What makes McBryde stand out above so many of today’s artists is that she has proved to the music industry that classic country music can still be made. Her songs tell stories about not just her life but about humans in general, and the struggles we face sometimes. That’s why she’s so relatable.

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Adding on to that feat, McBryde has also shown the country music world that female artists matter, too. While normally dominated by males, country music should have more female artists to balance the spectrum. McBryde has proven that women can be just as good as men.

With a strong voice like Carrie Underwood, an innovative attitude like Miranda Lambert and songwriting skills like Taylor Swift, McBryde is an artist that will surely stick around for several more years. Hopefully, she will continue her already successful career.

Not bad for a girl goin’ nowhere.

Noah is a sophomore in LAS.

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