Warner Music Nashville
A concept album about small town community
Country singer Ashley McBryde collaborates with other writers, musicians and producers
Five years ago, the country singer Ashley McBryde came out with "A Little Dive Bar In Dahlonega," her first major-label single. The song wasn't a huge hit, but it was an immediate critical sensation.
Here, McBryde set out with a group of her favorite collaborators to work up a project they had no intention of ever recording or releasing. What came from that weeklong songwriting exercise in a rural cabin outside Nashville is Ashley McBryde Presents: Lindeville, a distilled version of everything that listeners have come to appreciate from McBryde: raw, honest, specific portraits of small-town America, and the many characters that you may encounter in any one of them.The project tips its hat to the writing methods of legendary Nashville songwriter Dennis Linde ("Goodbye Earl," "Burning Love," "Bubba Shot the Jukebox"). Set for release in full on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022 via Warner Music Nashville.
Stereogum says that part of the way that "A Little Dive Bar" succeeded was the way that McBryde sang the song — a tough, warm, lived-in twang that sounded like it belonged to a character in the song. And some of it was the way the lyrics painted a picture. You don't kneed to know anything about Dahlonega, a small town in Georgia, to imagine the dive bar of the song or the people who find some tiny but crucial bit of sustenance there — the ones going through the hitting rock bottom, smoke 'em if you got 'em, nothing's going right, making the best of the worst day kinda nights.
The title of McBryde's new album isn't technically Lindeville. It's Ashley McBryde Presents: Lindeville. McBryde isn't the star, then. She's the presenter, the party host, the Rod Serling of the whole deal. You could say the same thing about McBryde's other albums, too.
McBryde could sing and write about that little dive bar in Dahlonega because she'd been there — because she'd been living her life in dive bars like that one. Years before she released that song, McBryde, born into a repressively religious Arkansas family, had moved to Nashville in hopes of making a name for herself. It took a break from Eric Church, a country star with a rebellious streak, who invited her onstage to sing one of her songs; it helped her get a label deal. Sometimes people recognize greatness when they hear it.
On Lindeville, McBryde puts the spotlight on that whole community, and she does it with a concept album about community. It's like she and her collaborators have decided to make a whole panoramic Robert Altman film about the little dive bar in Dahlonega, and maybe even about Dahlonega itself. Lindeville is not the idealized small town that only exists in country songs. It's a place where people struggle and fall off wagons and fuck each other over.
McBryde doesn't sing too many lead vocals on Lindeville. The album comes from a bunch of different viewpoints, so she brings in a bunch of different singers to handle those parts. Some of those singers are famous, like Brandy Clark or the Brothers Osborne. John Osborne, one of the Brothers, produced Lindeville, picking all the musicians and bringing back musical motifs throughout, while Osborne handles the lead vocals on "Play Ball."
Some of the album's other singers are mostly known to the people who pay attention to the liner notes on country records. An album like this is a powerful reminder that Nashville is a town full of talented people with vision and that the prevailing pop-country winds don't always let those people indulge those visions.
|1. Brenda Put Your Bra On - with Caylee Hammack & Pillbox Patti|
|2. Jesus Jenny - with Aaron Ratiere|
|3. Dandelion Diner|
|4. The Girl In The Picture - with Pillbox Patti|
|5. If These Dogs Could Talk - with Brandy Clark|
|6. Play Ball - with Brothers Osborne|
|7. Ronnie's Pawn Shop|
|8. The Missed Connection Section of the Lindeville Gazette - with Brandy Clark & Aaron Ratiere|
|9. Gospel Night At The Strip Club - with Benjy Davis|
|10. Forkem Family Funeral Home|
|11. When Will I Be Loved - with Brandy Clark, Caylee Hammack, & Pillbox Patti|
|12. Bonfire At Tina's - with Caylee Hammack, Brandy Clark, & Pillbox Patti|