Ashley McBryde Talks Enviable First John Prine Concert

Singer’s First Grammy Week Comes Full-Circle at Americana Music Association’s Prine Tribute

Ashley McBryde’s first John Prine concert is the kind of music memory Prine fans would die to have.

It was in Aug. 2017 before her major label debut Girl Goin’ Nowhere arrived, and she was on her way home to Tennessee after a performance at Ohio’s Jamboree in the Hills when her songwriter friend, Blue Foley, called with a gig of a lifetime: picking at the Prine family reunion in Elizabethtown, Ky.

“We drive to this state park, and they’ve got cabins and clubhouses where it was a legit potluck — meatballs, Lit’l Smokies, potato salad and two kinds of cole slaw,” McBryde tells CMT.com. “In walks Billy Prine and Mr. [John] Prine. Fiona was not there. Mr. Prine had these pint classes, and I was drinking Jim Beam vanilla out of a small bottle to monitor my intake because I don’t want to fall over myself in front of a legend.

“He got up during the night, and I said, ‘Are you leaving Mr. Prine?’ And he goes, ‘No, I’m just refilling my drink.’ I’m telling you, that man drinks Jameson straight out of a pint glass. But never stutters. He never falters. He never waivers on a word or a chord.”

That night at the reunion, McBryde got serenaded by Prine sitting in a folding lawn chair, singing her favorite Prine original, “My Mexican Home.” The moment came full-circle for McBryde when she covered the song live in front of Prine on Saturday night (Feb. 9) at Los Angeles’ historic Troubadour nightclub. The performance was part of an all-star Americana Music Association concert salute to Prine featuring sets by Dwight Yoakam, Margo Price, Anderson East, Bob Weir, the Wood Brothers, Bettye Lavette and more.

“He changed the way I wrote songs,” McBryde says. “Hearing his songs for the first time, it changed my entire world.”

McBryde attended Grammy week as a first-time nominee for best country album for her major label debut, Girl Goin’ Nowhere. It was her first-ever major music award nomination. The award went to Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour.

When asked if she thought Girl Goin’ Nowhere would go this far, she said, “I wanted [this] for myself. I didn’t know that we’d get it — A nomination for the very first major label album, and it’s the first award I’ve ever been nominated for. Everything in that category I’ve listened to multiple times. So, for my name to pop up next to those records for this award is insane.”

McBryde is featured on an all-new Hot 20 Countdown airing Saturday and Sunday (Feb. 16-17) at 9 a.m. ET.

Enjoy scenes from the AMA’s Grammy week salute to Prine:

  1. John Prine

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  2. Ashley McBryde

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  3. Margo Price and Bob Weir

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  4. Dwight Yoakam

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  5. Mary Gauthier

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  6. Bettye Lavette

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  7. Boz Scaggs

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  8. The Wood Brothers

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  9. Iron & Wine

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  10. Dom Flemons

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Lauren Tingle is a Tennessean and storyteller who eats music for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When she’s not writing or rocking out, she enjoys yoga and getting lost in the great outdoors.