Ashley McBryde Closes Out 2020 With Raving Reviews, Nominations for April Releases

by Joe Rutland
(Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for CMT)

What a way for country music singer-songwriter Ashley McBryde to close out this year. Her songs and album, “Never Will,” are being recognized.

The album is the only country album among those on “Rolling Stone” magazine’s “Best Albums of 2020.” “One Night Standards,” which became McBryde’s first Top 10 single, is among “The New York Times” “Best Songs of 2020.” “Hang In There Girl,” the opening track on “Never Will,” is on NPR’s “100 Best Songs of 2020.”

Add a Grammy nomination for “Best Country Album” to the mix and McBryde has had a year. It is McBryde’s fourth Grammy nomination after being in contention for her 2019 debut album “Girl Going Nowhere.”

That is coupled with Grammy nominations for Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance for the album’s title track in 2020.

“When we released ‘Never Will,’ we kept our original April 2020 release date because people needed music then and we need music now!” McBryde said. “However, there was a small part of me that was a little sad that these songs may not get the time or attention they deserve as a body of work because of that timing.

“So to have the album receive so much recognition, along with nominations among such incredible company by both the CMA Awards and by The Recording Academy, is truly amazing and means the absolute world to me,” she said.

Here is McBryde’s official video for “Hang In There Girl.”

McBryde currently has “Martha Divine” playing on country stations as a follow-up to “One Night Standards.”

Ashley McBryde Also Blends Her Jazz Roots Into Songs

She stays true to the country music genre yet McBryde has experienced so many different types of music, especially jazz.

Her background includes time singing in a jazz ensemble as well as musical theater.

“I have a big love for jazz music,” she said in an interview with NPR. “The only thing I hated about singing with a jazz band was having to wear a gown to everything. That’s the costume.

“I was lucky to grow up with a mom who was really familiar with musicals,” McBryde said. “My first musical I ever went to see live was ‘The Music Man.’ A friend of hers was in the pit band. It was so cool.”

She added, “The performance aspect of musical theater is a really interesting thing because they’re not just singing a song, they’re conveying it, even if it’s just with their eyebrows or mannerisms.”

The 37-year-old is a native of Mammoth Spring, Ark. McBryde had a long road before “Girl Going Nowhere” was released on March 30, 2018.

It might have been tempting to try to recreate the success of her previous album. But McBryde moved forward with “Never Will” to show off her range of style and personality.

“Of course there’s pressure because you have to prove with the second record that the first one wasn’t a fluke,” she admits in an interview with Sounds Like Nashville.