Ashley McBryde Plays a Stellar Tiny Desk Concert From Home [Watch]
Ashley McBryde's Tiny Desk Concert doesn't come from inside NPR's famous office space, but it's stellar nonetheless. Together with bandmates Chris Harris and Matt Helmkamp, the country star turns in a four-song set of tunes from her recently released album Never Will.
After opening with "Hang in There Girl," McBryde is quick to note that, while she, Harris and Helmkamp are not spaced six feet apart from each other, they're following CDC-recommended guidelines: They've been quarantining and are all healthy. As reminders of what else is important during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, McBryde is sporting a "Wash Hands Please" T-shirt, while Helmkamp is wearing a shirt that reads "Spread Love, It's the Nashville Way."
McBryde's Tiny Desk Concert set also includes performance of her single "One Night Standards" (which she humorously notes she misspelled as "Standars" on their setlist) and "Velvet Red," a bluegrass- (and wine-)inspired love story featuring "basically all of the rule-breaking," for which Harris plays mandolin. McBryde admits that the song wasn't even in the running for Never Will until her photographer suggested it while they were in the studio.
"Sparrow," which almost became the title track of McBryde's sophomore major-label album, concludes her Tiny Desk set. The heart-wrenching song is about missing home while being away to pursue your dreams, though the singer admits that it's taken on a bit of a new meaning during this time when so many are unable to see loved ones because they're trying to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Shot in one take, McBryde's Tiny Desk Concert captures her casual, chatty onstage attitude despite her lack of in-person audience. Before she and her bandmates end their performance, McBryde confesses that having the two over to play music was worth the added effort of sanitizing the house and taking extra precautions to keep everyone healthy.
"Just having other voices to sing with, and other guitars and instruments around you, you don't realize — or, I didn't realize — how much I take it for granted," McBryde says, "because when it's gone, boy, is it gone."
McBryde released Never Will in early April. The project follows her critically acclaimed and Grammy-nominated major-label debut, Girl Going Nowhere, released in 2018.
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