Ashley McBryde Presents: Lindeville

Ashley McBryde Presents: Lindeville

Ashley McBryde delivers her most ambitious project yet with Ashley McBryde Presents: Lindeville, a concept album set within a fictional town named for the late Nashville songwriter Dennis Linde, known for hits like The Chicks’ “Goodbye Earl” and Joe Diffie’s “John Deere Green.” Like William Faulkner’s fictional Yoknapatawpha County, the town features a recurring cast of characters, a nod to Linde’s own occasional habit of carrying characters over from song to song. “We wrote a song called ‘Blackout Betty’ and we've had a good time with it,” McBryde tells Apple Music of the concept’s genesis. “I feel better. Therapy is complete. And then I'm like, you know what? ‘Blackout Betty,’ [Girl Going Nowhere’s] ‘Living Next to Leroy,’ [Never Will’s] ‘Shut Up Sheila,’ Aaron's got ‘Jesus Jenny,’ Nicolette is Pillbox Patti—we have all these characters that accidentally, over the years, they've popped up… What we should do is make them neighbors on purpose, and then a place to live.” The resulting collection listens like a fever-dream tour of small-town America, with McBryde’s expansive vision fleshed out by contributions from fellow artists like Aaron Raitiere, Pillbox Patti, Brandy Clark, the Brothers Osborne, and more. While Lindeville is an album that begs a start-to-finish listen—a compelling narrative quickly develops and sprawls outward, not unlike a novel-in-stories—standout tracks include the tender, realist “Gospel Night at the Strip Club” and a show-stopping cover of The Everly Brothers’ “When Will I Be Loved,” on which Clark, Caylee Hammack, and Pillbox Patti join McBryde in showing that at the end of the day, these small-town characters, these women, just wish to be seen. But McBryde’s doing them one better: Their voices are being heard. Below, McBryde shares insight into several key tracks on Ashley McBryde Presents: Lindeville. “Jesus Jenny” (feat. Aaron Raitiere) “Nobody delivers like Aaron Raitiere. I didn't notice this until I've been working things up this week to do an acoustic show, but when Aaron sings it, we're all laughing and we're going, ‘Oh, I don't know if I should be laughing at this.’ And then I went to go sing it and pick it and it's so sad. I had no idea how sad this song was. Because when Aaron delivers, his phrasing is just absolutely his own. And I'm like, ‘Well, if I say it that short, or if I say it this way, then it's going to sound like I'm trying to sound like Aaron.’ Then when I sing the line ‘All I can do for you right now is pray that your demons go away and you get home okay’—maybe that's what it is that's making me so like, ‘Oh my god,’ is that we know that person. And up until recently, I've been that girl, that people are looking at you and going, ‘Well, I hope you get home okay.’ How eye-opening.” “The Girl in the Picture” (feat. Pillbox Patti) “‘The Girl in the Picture’ is one of the more somber situations on the record, because that chorus ends with ‘It's a shame that all she'll ever be is the girl in the picture that won the blue ribbon at the Faulkner County Fair.’ So all we know, as we're writing it, is she was at this event and she had her picture taken and that photographer entered that [photo] into the county fair and it won the blue ribbon. It's also what they use for the ‘missing’ poster now. And nobody knows where she is, so right now all she is is just ‘the girl in the picture.’ We still don't know what happened to her.” “Play Ball” (feat. Brothers Osborne) “The song is about Pete, but it's sung from the point of view of a person who's an adult now who, when they were little, Pete took care of a little bit and put his arms around. We didn't start with that hook. We started with ‘Who is Pete?’ And so we literally started with ‘Pete chalks the ball field down at Dennis Linde Park.’ And then what else does that mean? That means he turns the sprinklers on at sunup and the lights on after dark. Okay. And then Benjy Davis is the one that comes out with ‘The grass is always greener on his side of the fence.’ And then we got tickled. I'm like, ‘He lost his wife to cancer and a thumb to Vietnam, and jokes he used to be a hitchhiker, but not for very long.’” “Gospel Night at the Strip Club” (feat. Benjy Davis) “‘Gospel Night at the Strip Club’ is a title that I dreamt. I had a dream that me and Brandy [Clark] had all this cash in our hands and our friends were like, ‘Where have you girls been?’ And I was like, ‘Gospel night at the strip club.’ And I took that to the table and I was like, ‘It feels like Kris Kristofferson-style spoken word. I know that spoken songs aren't [commercial]. But it doesn't matter. We're not going to work that to radio. So let's write this.’”

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