You might be familiar with Ashley Monroe as one-third of country music’s premier supergroup, Pistol Annies. If that’s the only exposure you’ve had to her music then her two Bush Hall shows this week will have been an eye-opener; she’s a singer-songwriter of the highest class. And there wasn’t a single Annies song in sight.
Standing alone, with just a guitar for company, Monroe’s set was full of songs from her terrific Sparrow record, with the lovely yet maudlin ‘Orphan’ and slinky ‘Wild Love’ the two standouts. From her 2015 record of the same name, ‘The Blade’ was beautifully sung, and ‘Winning Streak’ gave the set some late on pace.
Her songwriting chops were front and centre on ‘Daddy I Told You’, a tribute to her father who died when she was 13, and ‘Mother’s Daughter’, written about her relationship with her mother. Despite those serious sounding themes, Monroe was an engaging presence, fun and genuinely happy to be back in the UK.
Despite her outstanding catalogue of songs, the real highlight of the show was her rendition of ‘La Vie En Rose’ which was just stunning, segueing wonderfully into her own ‘Like A Rose’. Quite brilliant.