Home Music album Arkansas native Ashley McBryde friends dream up ‘Lindeville’ album

Arkansas native Ashley McBryde friends dream up ‘Lindeville’ album

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It’s been a good month for Ashley McBryde. On Sept. 7, the Arkansas native received five Country Music Association International nominations, including singer of the year and four more for “Never Wanted to Be That Girl,” her No. 1 duet with her girlfriend. Carly Pearce. And on Friday, she’ll release “Ashley McBryde Presents: Lindeville,” the creative, collaborative, and often hilarious concept album set in the fictional town of Lindeville.

The genesis of the new album, which is out via Warner Music Nashville, dates back to a pre-pandemic writing session with McBryde, 39, and his friends, Aaron Raitiere and Nicolette Hayford, whose hard-partying alter-ego is called Pillbox Patti.

Among the songs from that session was “Blackout Betty,” a tribute to the character McBryde says she becomes after having had a few too many. This track and another, “Jesus, Jenny” (the latter ended up on the new record) were in line with McBryde’s other character-driven songs like “Shut Up, Sheila” and “Livin’ Next to Leroy”.

“We had these characters that we had developed over the years, and we thought it would be cool if we gave them neighbors,” says McBryde, who grew up on a farm between Ash Flat and Mammoth Spring. “And then let’s give them a place to live.”

They called it Lindeville after Dennis Linde (pronounced Lindy), the legendary country songwriter responsible for hits like “Walkin’ a Broken Heart”, https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2022/ sep/27/girl-going-somewhere/”So it’s love,”https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2022/sep/27/girl-going-somewhere/”Sure it’s Monday,”https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2022/sep/27/girl-going-somewhere/”Goodbye Earl,”https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2022 /sep/27/girl-going-somewhere/”Callin’ Baton Rouge” and many more others.

“He literally drew a map, invented a town, and put characters in it, and then wrote songs about them,” McBryde said. “We didn’t listen to a bunch of Dennis Linde stuff and try to develop characters like he did, we did it backwards, but we wanted to take our hats off to him and thought it was a great way to honor such an awesome songwriter.”

McBryde and co-writers Raitiere, Hayford, Connie Harrington, Brandy Clark and Benjy Davis retreated to a lakeside cabin in Tennessee for a week-long songwriting retreat to work on songs and lyrics. characters that would make up Lindeville, even if making an album wasn’t really the priority.

“We weren’t doing it to make a record to come out,” McBryde said. “We were doing it because it was during the pandemic, none of us were on the road, none of us had worked for 18 months. We wanted to come together and keep that part of the blade sharp, write and be creative and making decisions about what feels good.”

There was a record in there, however, and McBryde gave the demos to his friend John Osborne and asked him to produce the project.

“He was so into it, so I knew we’d be able to make some really cool studio choices,” she says.

In press materials for the album, Osborne said: “I loved the idea – immediately I was very, very excited. I must have listened to these work tapes probably 40 or 50 times long before even deciding which route I want to take on the record… There’s an arc in the album. Technically it doesn’t happen in a day, but that’s how it is for me, even if it’s there are multiple stories and timelines.

“Ashley McBryde Presents: Lindeville”
Concept albums are fairly common in rock ‘n’ roll, and country music has had its share, including Willie Nelson’s “Red Headed Stranger”, https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2022/sep/ 27/girl-going -somewhere/ Johnny Cash’s “The Rambler” (who actually did several concept projects), Clark’s “12 Stories” and Bobby Bare’s album “Lullabys, Legends and Lies” to tunes by Shell Silverstein.

“Ashley McBryde Presents: Lindeville” joins those classics with McBryde’s own mischievous twist.

The album opens slyly with soft, mellow strings and acoustic guitar, as if the sun is rising, before McBryde and Co. launches into the joyous “Brenda Get Your Bra On”, a saucy tale of neighbors in the “trailerhood” watching as Tina catches Marvin with another woman and all hell breaks loose.

The acoustic “Jesus, Jenny” is another track about someone who probably didn’t make the best decisions in his life and “The Missed Connections Section of the Lindeville Gazette”, is a wonky story of lonely bachelors at the looking for a small business on the side.

The album isn’t all funny stories of rednecks gone wild. There are more serious moments, like “The Girl in the Picture,” about a woman whose best years may already be behind her; “Play Ball”, a tender tribute to Pete, who maintains the ball field at Dennis Linde Park. “Bonfire at Tina’s” is a hit about small town female solidarity; and then there’s “Gospel Night at the Strip Club,” whose title sounds like a raspy chant, but is actually an acoustic tale of grace – “Hallelujah/ hallelujah/ Jesus loves drunks, whores and fags. “

“I love looking at people’s faces when I say I’m going to play a song called ‘Gospel Night at the Strip Club,'” McBryde said. “They laugh at the first line, and then they laugh no more. And not in a bad way, but in an ‘oh, cool’ way.”

The album includes performances by the Osborne brothers, Clark, Raitiere, Hayford and Davis. While McBryde may have been the mayor of Lindeville, she was happy to step aside and let her aides sing on multiple tracks.

“We could have cut with me singing all the songs since it’s my record, but that didn’t feel right,” she says. “I was listening to the work tapes and just thinking the way the songs were written… whoever was singing at that time is who these characters have to be.”

McBryde does, however, sing in each of the album’s three short satirical jingles. Based on local radio announcements she heard growing up, she extols the virtues of the “Forkem Family Funeral Home”,https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2022/sep/27/girl -going-somewhere/”Ronnie’s Pawn Shop” and the “Dandelion Diner”. Like any good radio commercial, these are pure ear-candy and you’ll sing lines like “It’s high time for pie time at the Dandelion Diner…” and “When you meet your maker , we’ll be your undertaker, Forkem Family Funeral Home…” to yourself for weeks.

A cover of Linda Ronstadt’s hit “When Will I Be Loved” is included, and the album ends with the mellow “Lindeville”, which recalls the opening strings and finds McBryde singing from the vantage point of the tower. clock that stands in the town square of Lindeville and has seen the best and worst of the small town. It’s a fitting conclusion for a cast of characters that have had their ups and downs.

“Sometimes someone gets their ass whipped at the Piggly Wiggly and everyone talks about it, that’s how it is,” McBryde says. “Even though we are all human disasters, sometimes everything is fine for a minute.”

Photo Ashley McBryde has called on her friend John Osborne to produce her new album, “Ashley McBryde Presents: Lindeville”, which will be released on Friday. (Special for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Katie Kauss)
“Ashley McBryde Presents: Lindeville” is the sequel to 2020’s “Never Will,” which included “Shut Up, Sheila” and the brutally honest “One Night Standards.”https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2022/ sep/27/girl-going-somewhere/ “Girl Going Nowhere,” her major label debut of 2018, garnered acclaim from The New York Times, Rolling Stone, NPR among others and, like “Never Will,” was nominated for a Grammy for Best Country Album.

McBryde, the youngest of six siblings, has carved out a unique niche for herself in mainstream country and has broken through with smart, insightful songwriting about working-class Southern women and a sound that blends traditional country with rock, folk and hints of bluegrass.

Music has been a constant from the beginning of his life.

“There were instruments in the house since I was little. My father played guitar, my sister played the flute, I had a brother who played the trumpet and a brother who played a little drums There were so many kids to worry about I think [my parents] were just happy that I was having fun.”

Her first instrument was her great-grandmother’s “tater-bug” style mandolin, which she still has.

She studied music education at Arkansas State University and lived in Memphis, where she performed concerts wherever she could, mixing covers with originals in venues ranging from biker joints at the classic Memphis dive bar, the Buccaneer Lounge. At the end of 2005, she moved to Nashville.

“I didn’t know anyone here, but I finally had to do it. I wanted to know how far I could go, and could I do it at the level that I want to do it.”

As a rookie in Nashville, there was the standard series of day jobs — security guard, vet tech, restaurant server, retail — to keep her afloat.

“I always give this advice to new [to Nashville]. They ask and I say, ‘find a day job. You’re going to have to pay for the things you want to do.'”

She drove several miles in her van on a solo tour along a circuit that included Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee and Arkansas.

“I just played wherever I could and stayed out most of the month, couch surfing,” she says. “I would play at that bar and get up the next morning and go and play at that bar. I think that’s a good way to earn his stripes.”

This path has taken her to the top of the charts, Grammy nominations, critical acclaim, and creating the music she wants with her friends. Next up is an October stint for Winona’s opener on “The Judds: The Final Tour,” and the CMA awards show will take place on November 9.

What was her reaction when she learned that she had been nominated in five categories?

“Man, that’s a bunch. I’m really proud of this song that Carly and I wrote together. Being number 1 was a huge deal, and being able to play it on TV so many times was a huge deal. Being in the the female singer category is wonderful again. [Fellow nominee Miranda Lambert] and I always fight for each other. And I texted Lainey [Wilson, who has six nominations] and said ‘atta girl!'”