Detroit,Michigan-(January 14,2022)-“I’m going to give you everything I got,” words Ashley McBryde spoke after opening her This Town Talks, tour stop at the Fillmore Detroit Friday evening. McBryde, under strict doctors care from a recent illness, was really not sure how far she would be able to push her vocals as she would go on to explain; “I’m going to give my all,” she continued, “If you weren’t here, we wouldn’t be either. I’ve got my drinks close by that will help me along. It might be a struggle, but I’m ready so let’s go!”
Mcbryde, on a 35-city tour in support of her second major label release and the critically acclaimed Never Will, appeared poised and ready for the performance from the moment she walked on stage. Starting off the 20-song eclectic set with the vocal challenging “Martha Divine,” there was no evidence whatsoever that there would be any struggle tonight for the Grammy nominated artist. Frankly if it hadn’t been mentioned to the packed venue, even her biggest fans would be hard pressed to notice anything lacking in her smooth resonating voice. This in a nutshell is who Ashley McBryde is, an Arkansas red-clay badass, with the swagger of Hank Jr. who leaves it all on stage every night she performs, no matter what the challenges she may be facing.
Pulling tales from her human experience throughout the 90-minute performance, a happenstance love on “A Little Dive Bar In Dahlonega,” or telling a story about the algebra teacher from her youth telling her she “better have a backup plan” before the mesmerizing rendition of her hit “Girl Goin’ Nowhere,” gave casual fans a glimpse into who McBryde is. Conversely the more upbeat songs such as “Lookin’ for a Buzz,” “Never Will” and “Shut Up Sheila,” brought forth all the fire and passion she has become known and respected for and mixed well within the career spanning setlist. Continually smiling and tapping her heart in appreciation for the love that her fans bestowed after each song, McBryde does not pretend to be anything she is not while performing. What you see is what you get, and what you get is what you see. Fans relate to her because she doesn’t do it in glitter and sequins either, like the modern country divas of Music Row. McBryde wears her boots and jeans, cracks her jokes then delivers a live performance like few others can.
What makes Ashley McBryde so appealing though is the sense of legitimacy she brings in her songs. She sings about a life she has lived and when combined with the boundless, energetic stage presence you have undeniable draw that music fans are looking for. Even when introducing a new song as she did tonight with “Women Ain’t Whiskey,” the crowd remained engaged as if listening to “Hang In There Girl,”or the sultry “Voodoo Doll,” both which she performed later in the set. Don’t forget the one of the most potent weapons currently in country music; Ashley McBryde’s voice. It was challenged throughout but was still able to turn on a dime and lend each song a distinctive tone that helped fashion its own unique spectrum.
McBryde has been touted for her songwriting ability and it shown brightly tonight on her first Platinum hit, “One Night Standards.” Slowly percolating with Chris Harris’ guitar underneath, her vulnerable voice combining the sweetness and spunk of a woman setting the ground rules for a one-time hookup. It was the undeniably the most well received cut of the performance, so much so that McBryde stopped singing midway and listened intently to the near capacity crowd singing back at her word for word. At the conclusion, an emotional McBryde once again put her hand over her heart and lipped the words “Thank You, Thank you” towards one of the loudest rounds of applause at the Fillmore in recent memory. This recurring theme ran throughout the evening, exemplified by her rambling but fan friendly rendition of The Allman Brothers Band “Midnight Rider,” a foundational cut that started the momentum which culminated with final song of the evening “Rattlesnake Preacher.”
Ashley McBryde put on an absolutely terrific show Friday night in Detroit and has established herself as one of the most-loved and well respected stars in country music today. She is a rare talent who can bring emotion and passion, along with plenty of laughs and stories each time she performs. McBryde is part of a wave in country music that currently sees the best work, writing along with performing, being done by female artists. Two of the five Best Album Grammy nominations went to women this year, and there’s a case to be made that it should’ve been even more. The future of country music looks mighty female, and Ashley McBryde promises to be a big part of it.
The Fillmore Detroit: