Ashley McBryde has the voice that transcends time. It’s timeless. It transports you into a world of heartache, romance, life affirming soul shaking americana. A sound that is uniquely country but straddles different genres such as Rock and Blues. Ashley’s songs are at once personal to her life story but they are stories that we can all relate to that chronicle the human experience. On a wet Friday evening on 27th September 2019 Ashley brought her country soul to a sold out show to O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, London.
‘Girl Goin’ Nowhere is my personal anthem. It’s the rallying call to each and everyone one of us to not let the ‘haters’ drag you down to their level with their negativity and pessimism. It’s a song which shows that your belief and faith in what makes you, you, should be rock solid. Those people never stop even when you do make a success of your dreams. The roar of the crowd on hearing this song was deafening. Ashley sang what was in our hearts.
‘Here’s to the break ups that didn’t break us’ is one of the lines from one of Ashley’s biggest breakout hits is ‘A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega’ a song for the underdog. ‘Hear a song from a band that saves ya, man’ it’s lyrics like this that permeate throughout Ashley’s songs. Bringing home to you the audience that here is an artist that understands your struggles because she has lived them too.
Ashley’s songs lifted the spirits of the audience to fever pitch. With every song the crowds energy increased vocally. Ashley responded by bringing out songs such as ‘American Scandal’, ‘First thing I reach for is the last thing I need’, Tired of being Happy.
Bringing the bluesy, rocking country sound of Ashley McBryde’s songs to live are guitarist Matt Helkamp, drummer Quinn Hill, bass guitarist Chris Sancho and guitarist/back up vocals Chris Harris. Together they are collectively called ‘Deadhorse’. And they kick ass alongside Ashley, bringing an authentic sound that makes you want to move, dance and sing at the top of your lungs. Surround yourself with good people the maxim goes and thats exactly what Ashley has done.
Ashley dedicated ‘Home Sweet Highway’ to her fans this night as a thank you for supporting her and her journey from outsider to Country Rock Queen. There’s a vitality to Ashley’s music , a resonance wither audience that uplifts the spirit.
Ashley also played her latest single ‘One Night Standards’ a modern day take on romance for the 21st century. This needs to be on the new album which hopefully once her mammoth tour is over should be the title track.
Bringing the night to a close with an encore Ashley had captured the hearts of this London audience by being the embodiment of country rock heart and soul. This night was an unforgettable night of music, at times electrifying, at others an acoustic ode to the soul and what it means to be human. Never let ‘No’ stop you from achieving your dreams instead let it be the fuel to rocket you to new heights. We were in the presence of greatness tonight, a legend, a Queen of Country.