Ashley McBryde Debuts a New Song, ‘Whiskey and Country Music,’ at the Grand Ole Opry [Watch]
Ashley McBryde performed for a limited-capacity audience at the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night (Feb. 13), and the singer took the opportunity to try out a brand new song. She debuted an unreleased tune called "Whiskey and Country Music" about halfway through her set, around the 10:45 minute mark in the video above.
Both stylistically and in terms of subject matter, McBryde leans heavily into traditional country influences in the new song, which details how only two things — whiskey and country music — are surefire cures for tough times, even if other coping mechanisms like meditation, therapy and talks with friends fail to help.
"So pass me a bottle and I won't refuse it / Put Patsy on vinyl, and good Lord, I'll lose it," McBryde sings in the song's chorus, accompanied solely by a bluesy acoustic guitar line. "'Cause nothin' takes the edge off when I'm goin' through it / Like whiskey and country music..."
"I thought there was no finer room in the whole wide world to try out a brand new song," McBryde explained after she'd finished playing through the new tune. "So that's a new one — 'Whiskey and Country Music.' I didn't write it by myself. Lord knows we had help. That song's so country it's gotta drive towards town to go huntin'."
During her set, McBryde reflected briefly on how much it meant to her to be on stage, especially in the wake of a year of shutdowns, canceled shows and scrapped tours.
"It never gets old playing the Opry. I'm so happy you're here with us," she told the audience. "Thank you for doing what you gotta do to be here with us, because we do what we gotta do to be here with you, too."
Towards the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, in April of 2020, McBryde released her hotly-anticipated sophomore album, Never Will. Despite the hardships that the singer and her band have faced in the months since, Never Will has been a resounding success, producing "One Night Standards": a No. 1 hit in Canada, a Top 10 hit in the U.S. and a gold single. McBryde closed out 2020 with a slew of award show nominations, and in 2021, she was named among CRS' New Faces of Country.
The singer previously told Taste of Country that for her, the key to staying sane throughout the pandemic has been keeping busy.
""I've said it before, but a dog, like a cattle dog, is a great dog — unless you don't let it do its purpose and you don't let it burn that energy," she pointed out. "Then it eats your shoes. So I don't wanna be a s--tty dog. I wanna know my purpose and accomplish it every day."