Ashley McBryde: Up For ‘The Eric Church Challenge’
Eric Church has often said that he loves Ashley McBryde and her music, and Ashley recently scored some opening slots on Church’s latest 2023 “The Outsiders Revival Tour,” which plays throughout the summer and into the fall.
McBryde has joined Church on stage many times over the last few years, and as she told us recently, it can sometimes be a challenge. She said, “It’s thrilling, and it’s nerve-wracking because Eric is sort of like Wy (Wynonna Judd) in the way that you really can’t ever tell what’s about to happen.”
She continued, “For instance, you know he asked me to come sing at Madison Square Garden when Joanna Cotten was sick, and I came and did a 3 1/2 hour set with him, and he doesn’t write the set list until an hour before the show. So, staying on your toes is something you have to do when you’re around Eric, and it’s the most fun you can ever have being nervous.”
Ashley added of touring with Church this year, “I can’t wait to find out in these shows what it is I learn…because we always learned something from each other, no matter who we’re touring with. What I’m going to learn, and what is he going to throw at me? I don’t mean physically, because I don’t ‘sport.’ He knows I probably wouldn’t catch it, but I wonder what challenge he will offer us, and I will just be so happy to meet it.”
McBryde recenty announced that her forthcoming album, The Devil I Know, will be released on September 8. And she says that she did it her way.
Ashley said in a statement, “When it was time to put together The Devil I Know, my band and I did what we always do: got together in the purple building in East Nashville, played through a bunch of songs, and discussed where we wanted it to go. We decided to take all the things that people tend to give us a hard time for and turn it up.”
She continued,”‘ Y’all are too country.’ We leaned into that – more country it is. ‘Y’all are awfully rock-leaning for a country artist.’ Is that so? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. ‘Last thing y’all need is another tender, finger-pickin’ song.’ Oh? Tender makes you uneasy, cowboy? I hear you. Let’s see how much more tender we can be. We listened to all those opinions and said, ‘I hear you. I understand what you’re saying.’ But sadly, there’s no room on the record for your opinion. We’ll do what we want.”