Tastemakers: What's Chris Country Radio's Chris Stevens listening to this week?

Tastemakers: What's Chris Country Radio's Chris Stevens listening to this week?

Chris Stevens, founder of Chris Country Radio, on Ashley McBryde's Girl Going Nowhere.

At last year’s Country To Country, Ashley McBryde went from unknown performer to the talk of the festival overnight. Her ability to hold an audience comes from years of performing in dive bars, and it’s only recently that the wider world has realised how incredible she is.

The Grammys also realised, with debut album Girl Going Nowhere nominated this year, and McBryde returns to C2C this month, promoted to the main stage.

Her sound isn’t complicated – solid musicianship combined with powerful lyrics; sometimes funny, sometimes sad, sometimes both, without the need for production tricks or multi-layering. Country music is often described as “three chords and the truth”, and this is a reminder that, if the lyrics and performance are top drawer, little else matters.

Eric Church described McBryde as a “whiskey drinking badass”, and I wouldn’t disagree. She returned to the UK last autumn to tour with Luke Combs, and it was one of those rare but awesome tours that felt like it had two headliners. The UK country community has discovered how awesome Ashley McBryde’s music is; it’s time for the rest of the world to follow.

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