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TC in Conversation with Ashley McBryde on our European Adventure at the “Milky Way” in Amsterdam

One day completely out of the blue, Annette our founder of Think Country called me up and said “Random one but, do you fancy a trip to Amsterdam to see” and before she had a chance to finish the question, naturally I was like “Erm, Hello! Abso-f*#king-lutely!” This excitement grew when I heard the 2 words that I hadn’t yet let her say “Ashley McBryde” so the first official Think Country European adventure was on the cards and we headed to the Dutch capital to see her show at a great little venue called Melkweg or “Milky Way” as it translates to, on September 25th.

Part of the appeal for us heading to the show over there was because her friend (who is also a friend of Annette’s) Cheley Tackett was joining her on the tour dates in mainland Europe, so it felt rude for us not to take a trip over for the show even if the idea of me and Annette being on free reign in a foreign country may create a sense of unease for many people that know us both.

At Think Country we have been lucky enough to speak to Ashley a few times now: Annette & Patti first spoke to her at CRS in March last year and then Amy caught up with her at C2C in London earlier this year so we were really grateful to add a third different country to interview her when Annette and I got some time to hang out with her before the show in Amsterdam talking everything from the upcoming tour with Miranda Lambert, playing the Nissan stadium at CMA Fest with Brooks & Dunn, how everyone always says she gives the best hugs to her progress on upcoming new music!

Ashley McBryde on her “Eleven Year Overnight Success”:

It’s a breeze, it’s just very little sleep and touring is a lot like camping. Except you shave your legs less often! I have a Dayna though now,I didn’t have a Dayna when you (Annette) first met me and it’s only really recently that she’s travelling with us full time. Which is awesome because I can do other things I need to do whilst she is gluing things to my face,doing things to my hair and all that.

Ashley McBryde on feeling she has been accepted by the Nashville community:

I get a feeling from them where thy kinda go “Welcome to the cool table!” It feels good and I’m kinda like I feel like things are getting better and people are like “Hey, it’s Ashley!” The other day I was in a bar with one of my co-writers Nicolette, we were having some meetings and as we left, in walked Karen Fairchild, Liz Rose and Lori McKenna. So I’m about to go “Oh My God, they just walked in!” they walked in and did that to us, being like “Hey! It’s Nicolette and Ashley, can we sit with you?” and I’m like Oh My God, they just asked to sit with me, so it’s a really cool feeling!

Ashley McBryde on the Nashville community coming together to support one of their own with 14 year old singer-songwriter Ava Paige and her battle with leukemia.

I first met Ava Paige backstage at the Opry with her folks and she was so super sweet and just was like “Miss Ashley this and Miss Ashley that” then she’s a really talented individual and that’s not just as a girl or being 14 years old. She’s just a very talented individual and when I heard that she had gotten sick, I kinda panicked a little bit because of all the people in the whole world that don’t deserve to be sick. Things are so busy right now, everything is so busy. In fact I was supposed to be going into the studio with Miranda and all them to do the Elvin Bishop tune that we were cutting. People were like I had like one hour if I wanted to go to the hospital today before you go to the studio so we went over, talked to her to her and hung out, exchanged stories and sang together. She was really really weak at the time because she was still so, so sick. But she could still muster up enough energy to sing, she sang ‘Bible and a .44’ with me. When we find out one of is down, it’s like a trust fall, when one of us gets down the rest of us circle around and make sure your head stays above the water.

Ashley McBryde on recording the cover of Elvin Bishop’s ‘Fooled Around and Fell in Love’ with the other girls on Miranda Lambert’s Roadside Bars & Pink Guitars tour:

Originally it was going to be all of us there at the same time but Elle King and Tenille Townes got caught at separate airports on different coasts and couldn’t make it so they had to come and do their part the following week. It was Maren, Miranda, Caylee Hammack and I that day, all together. I walked in and all the microphones were in a row, some were facing each other and I was late because I had been with Ava. I was like I’m sorry I’m late, I wasn’t messing around and Miranda’s like “I didn’t ask, you fine! We’re just making music, it’s not a big deal if you’re late!”

Ashley McBryde on being a part of the ‘Roadside Bars & Pink Guitars’ tour:

I think she’s had this idea brewing for a while and I don’t know that she had met all of the cast of characters that she would choose. I didn’t know much about Caylee at all before recording with her that day and if you listen to that recording, she tears it up! Her and I became friends that night, I ended up singing on her new record and I think Miranda knew that when a bunch of the right kind of players were in the world that she would be able to gather them up! Who’s gonna be able to tell Miranda Lambert NO?

Ashley McBryde on how it feels to have the likes of Miranda Lambert and Brooks & Dunn wanting to work with her:

You kind of go blank faced, sometimes maybe stare at the phone and go WHAT!!! My answer to do you want to work with Brooks & Dunn and be a part of their ‘Reboot’ record, was of course I do and I look at the people around me and go what is happening?

Ashley McBryde on recording ‘You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone’:

I tried to get a choice on which song it would be and I didn’t have to because they chose my favourite! You’re Gonna Miss Me is not only my favourite Brooks & Dunn song but I’ve quoted it since the late 90’s with my Godchildren when I would leave. I’d say come on guys, you’d better kiss me because you’re gonna miss me and now I get to sing it all the time!

Ashley McBryde on performing with Brooks & Dunn and Brothers Osborne at the Nissan Stadium during CMA Fest:

To play in a stadium is so different and the stage is SOOOO big. Just knowing when to start walking towards them because that stage manager is gonna be on you! Before we went out and before Brooks & Dunn went out to be with Brothers Osborne initially, we had done our sound check and Kix pulled me aside and said tonight, take your time! I know we’re on a tight schedule but if you don’t stop, pause and take them in, you’re gonna sing the wrong note and I can’t have you doing that! So I did and I think the camera caught me at just the right time because I really looked up through most of the song as there were people as far up as I could see so I made sure I took a second to take it in!

Ashley McBryde and the art and grace of taking the stage:

I always wonder when I first take a stage like you’ll see tonight: should you walk out there calmly and greet everyone? I can’t run fast, I might fall and over the last maybe 2 or 3 shows I just go there and scream!

Ashley McBryde on her memories of coming to Europe for the first time:

My first show ever over here the first time I did c2C was in an 1800 cap room that was full. It was an amazing time and my career changed the first time I came to Europe.

Ashley McBryde on the magic of being a hugger:

I still do if somebody open arms me at a meet and greet, i absolutely will give them a hug. I’ve gotten sick a couple of times because you know, germs but that doesn’t change. The fact is especially if somebody is nervous, because I’m such a nervous person when I can tell that somebody is really nervous to be chit chatting, I go we should just hug! Human embrace would just solve everything that is wrong with your feelings.

Ashley McBryde on upcoming new music:

Of course you can have new music! It’s coming right up! The first single just hit in the US and it’s called ‘One Night Standards’ then the record won’t be out until 2020 but early next year so you won’t have to wait very long.

Ashley McBryde on having Cheley Tackett opening up and joining her for her European shows:

It is really cool, it’s not full circle. I was trying to figure out what this feeling is, it’s not like “Circle of Life” like no but it is strange. I mean 10 years ago almost, I walked outside of The Listening Room in Nashville because I’d been listening to Cheley Tackett and Lisa Carver play and I walked up and told them we had a mutual friend, then we kinda started a conversation and as I walked to my truck, I turned to my friend that was with me and said those are the people I’m gonna write with in this town and I did! We’ve written all these years and she plays over here, I play over here and somebody on Twitter said “Why aren’t you 2 touring together?” Then I was like “Hey Tackett, why aren’t we?”

It was fantastic to chat to Ashley with Annette as she is one of the nicest, passionate and most genuine artists you will meet and she really loves telling her stories to you. Also it was such an amazing experience for me being in Amsterdam for the first time, not just to see a show but to visit the city (that’s a completely different story all together but let’s just say I had a LOT of fun, I will definitely be going back socially and for hopefully many more gigs over there as the Melkweg is a superb venue!) and get to experience country music in another country.

Ashley and Cheley were both incredible and YES I have still got Cheley’s song about her stuck in my head but it was really fitting for Ashley to be the first person I would travel for a European show outside of England. She was completely 100% the first person I ever saw on a stage of any size in Nashville last year when we rushed from BNA to catch her set in-front of Ascend Amphitheater as part of the Music City Gives Back event on the day we arrived in TN, so it is just right I let her take my mainland Europe gig virginity too!

Ashley concludes her run of European dates with shows in Glasgow and Dublin (following shows in London and Manchester since the date in Amsterdam) on September 30th and October 1st respectively. She returns to the United States to play the Kicks 101.5 Country Fair on October 5th along with Brett Young, LOCASH, Hardy & Joe Lasher in Alpharetta, GA before joining the ‘Roadside Bars & Pink Guitars’ tour on October 17th starting in Fargo, ND where she joins Miranda Lambert, Pistol Annies & Elle King. Full dates below and be sure to keep up to date with all the updates regarding forthcoming new music on Facebook Twitter & Instagram.

September 30 – Glasgow, Scotland @ Queen Margaret Union
October 1 – Dublin, Ireland @ The Academy
October 5 – Alpharetta, GA @ Ameris Bank Amphitheatre
October 17 – Fargo, ND @ Fargo Dome
October 18 – Milwaukee, WI @ Fiserv Forum
October 19 – St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Center
October 24 – Moline, IL @ TaxSlayer Center
October 25 – Springfield, MO @ JQH Arena
October 26 – Wichita, KS @ INTRUST Bank Arena

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Jamie Gardam
Without trying to write something that belongs in a Tinder profile, I’m Jamie: sometimes seen as a bit of a rogue potentially even notorious but all in all I am just an Essex boy that loves iced latte’s and colourful hair accessories with a tendency to continually cause disappointment to my mother and a worry to my therapist as I drink too much! It took me far too long to visit and fall in love with the world’s ultimate pub crawl that is Nashville, TN but prior to my next visit I make the most of the sights and sounds of London’s emerging country music scene.
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