Ashley McBryde is one of those artists in the odd predicament of having a new album arrive in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Never Will, the Arkansas native’s second release for Warner Bros. Nashville, came out April 3rd, and she’s been busily promoting it with interviews and an ongoing series of streaming performances from her couch. Her next livestream is in partnership with the boot brand Ariat and takes place Wednesday, April 8th, at 2:30 p.m. CT.
“I have a record coming out and it helps, but I [also] gotta interact,” she told Rolling Stone just before the album was released. “Right now the only way to interact is through reading comments on a livestream.”
Like most of us, she’s been staying at home as much as possible, save for a trip to purchase a lawn mower for her house in East Nashville. “I didn’t want to touch anything. I’m not the one that’s going to Sonic right now at all,” she says.
What are you doing with your unexpected time off?
First of all, Nashville was knocked on its knees by a tornado [on March 2nd], so you have a whole bunch of really in-need creative people. And then the virus hit and now you have a bunch of creative people who can’t create. Which is the quickest way to kill a musician, is to tie their hands and not let them make music. So I’m making a lot of music. On one of my toilet-paper runs, I bought a bouncy ball. When’s the last time you played with a bouncy ball? I was like, it works for 9-year-olds, might work for me. [I’m] drinking a lot of chocolate milk. And as long as the wi-fi holds up and there’s still Netflix, I’m gonna be fine.
Have you watched Tiger King yet?
Oh my God. It’s quarantine day, like, six and I’m already watching a documentary about a gay man who seduces straight men with methamphetamine and 227 tigers. I was like, yes, it’s like you know me! That’s what I want to see!
What music do you turn to in times of crisis?
Right now I’ve been streaming over and over the Brandy Clark record [Your Life Is a Record] because it’s so well done, so well written. But I play guitar a lot — that’s the whole reason I play music is to calm myself down. I play a lot of Jim Croce, Alison Krauss, Don Williams — stuff from my childhood. Stuff like that. It’s those things you forget until shit hits the fan that you’ll reach back for and grab those songs to bring you back to OK.