The country singer, whose new album 'The Devil I Know' is out now, spoke to PEOPLE at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's 2023 All for the Hall New York Benefit on Sept. 12 in New York City
Ashley McBryde never will run out of good advice.
The Grammy award-winning country singer, 40, spoke to PEOPLE about the wisdom she’s both learned and shared with others over the years before taking the stage in New York City Tuesday night for the All for the Hall guitar pull benefitting the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
“I could be funny and say the best advice I've ever given was never run out of baby wipes, and it is really true. When you live on the road with a bunch of men? Festival season? There should be a candle that is just that [baby wipes] scent,” she said with a laugh.
Tour hygiene aside, McBryde believes the most sage piece of wisdom she’s ever shared was with country star Lainey Wilson, when the two were on tour together.
“I think the best advice I probably ever gave was to Lainey back in the day when she was out opening for us. And I said, 'I'll do everything I can. I don't know what all I can do for you, but I'll do everything I can if you promise me that you'll turn around and do it for somebody else,'” McBryde recalled, before adding with a smile, “And she has.”
(With the release of Wilson’s heart-filled single, “Things a Man Oughta Know,” she became an overnight country sensation when the song hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart in 2021.)
The best piece of real-world advice McBryde was ever given, however, came from a stranger back when she was in school. The advice had such a profound impact on her that she wove it onto the lyrics for her latest single “Light On in the Kitchen.”
“One time I was backing up a van in college at the fine arts department, and this is where 'never back up farther than you have to' comes into play," she explained. "And I said, ‘Do you think I've backed up far enough?’”
She continues: “And I hear 'Never back up farther than you have to.' And this individual raises his eyebrows and looks at me, and I have revisited that phrase over and over, whether it's picking up a phone when an ex calls or seeing that you're sliding back into your old ways when you've tried to break a bad habit. Never go backwards farther than you have to.”
McBryde’s latest album, The Devil I Know, out now, is filled with songs that speak of truth and lived experiences (take “Learned to Lie” and “Single at the Same Time”) which can be a bit of a double-edged sword.
“It can be a little bit costly that your dirty laundry is someone else's entertainment,” she said. “But the upside to that is if I've lived those things, I'm not the only one who has that exact situation going on. I love ‘Single at the Same Time.’ And it just feels like a big oof when you sing it.”
McBryde is also gearing up for The Devil I Know Tour, which she’ll kick off in Mobile, Alabama, in October.
“We've headlined before, but the difference is now we have things we couldn't have before. We have a keys player, Wesley, and it makes such a huge difference. Our lighting director, Courtney, is just magical. And when you can supplement what everyone's hearing with what they're seeing, this will be the first time we've ever had stage production,” McBryde said.
“There won't be a video wall and there won't be CO2 cannons or anything,” she quipped, “but this is going to be the biggest thing we've done so far.”
With that in mind, perhaps McBryde’s most beloved piece of advice (if you can beat baby wipes and backing up the appropriate distance) makes the most sense of all.
“My favorite piece of Nashville advice I was ever given was that you must be present to win,” she says. “And the longer you sit with that phrase, once you're living in Nashville, the more it means as well.”
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