10 New Country Artists You Need to Know: May 2017

From a country-soul chanteuse to a hard-stomping band of Southern rockers

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Ashley McBryde
10
John Peets2/10

Ashley McBryde

Sounds Like: An Arkansas red-clay badass, with the swagger of Hank Jr. and the songwriting of Miranda Lambert

For Fans of: Miranda, Eric Church, no-bullshit country

Why You Should Pay Attention: McBryde has been opening for Chris Stapleton, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams Jr. and recently joined Eric Church onstage. But her time as a support act might be coming to an end: Super producer Jay Joyce (Church, Brothers Osborne), the go-to Nashville guy when artists want a more guitar-driven edge, is helming her upcoming album, moving her from the folksier side toward rock. "Working with him is like working with a mad scientist – in the best way," she says of Joyce. "He takes songs that we've been playing for a long time and they take on a new life and a new shape with him. It's insane."

She Says: "Singing 'Family Tradition' with Hank Jr. was a pee-your-pants moment. Hank comes over while I'm singing and puts his arm around me, and my knees nearly buckled. You can put off the fact that this is reality, but when he came over, there was just no denying. I just lost cabin pressure."

Hear for Yourself: Eric Church brought McBryde onstage during his show, introducing her as "a whiskey-drinkin' badass" before alternating verses on her song "Bible and a .44," a tender tribute to her father. J. Gugala

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