Ashley Monroe is one of those women who says it like it is. There’s no sugar coating the world in her music or through her eyes, and that attitude and fearlessness has brought her a long way over the past few years. From her songwriting credits (which include hits for Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, and more) to her work with The Pistol Annies, to last years breakout album “Like A Rose,” she’s made herself a staple in the country genre.
On stage, it’s much of the same way. The stories behind the songs are simple and honest and it’s important for her to communicate those stories, both before she begins to play and as she croons over the sparse instrumentation. If you’re looking for big hooks and full bombastic instruments, you need not look to Monroe. Her style is gentle and subtle, a stark contrast to the lyrics that often speak to the darkness that life can bring over us sometimes. She brought her songs “Like A Rose” and “Weed Instead of Roses” to life with a dash of humor and a whole lot of truth. One of the highlights was her cover of the song she co-wrote with Miranda Lambert, “Heart Like Mine,” a slightly more dissonant and reflective version of it that she hit out of the park. Not to mention her performance of one of my favorite tracks off her album, “You Got Me.”
Overall, Ashley put on a great show that spoke to the storyteller she is. It’s a no frills, all creation type of set that you crave from songwriters. My hope is that someone in the crowd saw her for the first time and fell in love.
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