Ashley McBryde - Girl Going Nowhere
As the newest great hope of country music, the pressure is really on Ashley McBryde. After a storming weekend at Country To Country 2018, and a groundswell of support from country music blogs across the US, Girl Going Nowhere comes with more pressure than a follow-up to an under the radar EP should probably expect. That's no disrespect to 2016's Jalopies & Expensive Guitars, which carried the superlative 'Bible and a .44', but McBryde's profile is high.
And it doesn't help when the country music label is being attached to any output from Nashville at the moment, where the industry is desperate for the next Chris Stapleton-sized breakout. It's pigeon-holed McBryde to a certain degree, when actually she's much closer in style to Bruce Springsteen. You can almost hear The Boss on rhythm guitar on the all-American rocker 'Radioland', and 'El Dorado' rings true with a Bruce-like melody. There's a Tom Petty feel to 'Livin' Next To Leroy, and 'The Jacket' lyrics echo the song's lived-in feel. While the singer-songwriter shows her tender side on lead single 'A Little Dive Bar In Dahlonega', and the sumptuous 'Southern Babylon' where McBryde lets her voice shows it full colour; while she's at her most personal on the title track.
Ashley McBryde deserves as wide an audience as she can get. What it comes down to is whether you like good old-fashioned rock 'n' roll; if you do then Girl Going Nowhere is for you. And if you like songwriters singing their own songs with feeling then, yep you guessed it, Girl Going Nowhere is for you. So this is for you, right?