“Grit.” “Raw.” “Old school.”
These are a few of the words that student fans use to describe the music of Ashley McBryde, who will perform with Dee White at The Lyric tonight at 8 p.m. as a stop on McBryde’s “Girl Going Nowhere” tour.
McBryde’s stop in Oxford will be one of many shows on her tour that will continue into July, covering not only the United States but also hitting several locations in the U.K., Australia and Canada.
On her tour, McBryde is showcasing her newest album for which the tour is named. This newest work was released in March, and it will be McBryde’s second album, following 2016’s “Jalopies and Expensive Guitars.”
McBryde’s roots were established amid doubt and discouragement, as she strived to realize her dream of moving away from her hometown of Mammoth Springs, Arkansas, to write songs in Nashville.
She showed interest in music at a young age, often trying her luck strumming her father’s guitar, and McBryde’s new found passion was encouraged when her father got her a guitar of her own. McBryde attended Arkansas State University, where she continued to pursue her love for music by joining the marching band.
McBryde then moved to Nashville where she finally wrote songs of her own. While in Nashville, McBryde won “Country Showdown,” the largest country music talent competition in the United States, in both 2009 and 2010, helping her establish a foothold in the country music scene.
Throughout her releases, McBryde has been successful in maintaining her own sound — one that manages to stand out and claim a place in the changing country music genre. McBryde’s lyrics often pull from personal accounts to tell a story to her listeners.
This sincerity is why her fans, including several here at Ole Miss, like her music.
Michelle Mazza, a senior exercise science major and avid fan of McBryde, affirms the impact of McBryde’s style and lyrics.
“I fell in love with her style,” Mazza said. “In a world where country is turning into more pop and rap styles, I feel like she stays more true to ‘90s and early 2000s country, and, in my opinion, the good country.”
Mazza especially emphasized her appreciation of McBryde’s most recent releases.
“In her newer songs she sounds more confident in herself and her abilities,” she said. “She doesn’t get into too much of a pop style and stays true to her roots.”
Molly McFarlin, a senior business major, echoed Mazza’s praise of McBryde and her powerful lyrics. McFarlin spoke in depth about the song “Bible and a .44,” which is a tribute to McBryde’s father.
“I stumbled upon the song ‘Bible and a .44,’ and as it so happens, I lost my father about two weeks prior,” McFarlin said. “It was as though that song was written about my dad. I fell in love with her music after that.”
McFarlin also said she admires the individuality of McBryde’s style.
“While Ashley McBryde is fairly new, her music is as old school as it gets,” McFarlin said. “She’s got grit, which is something a lot of new female country singers are missing. She doesn’t ‘keep up with the Jones’ or write stuff to sell — her lyrics are raw, and, in my opinion, classic.”