Most people had at least one teacher in high school they just couldn’t stand, and some folks have a good reason for hating said teacher. It’s not very often anyone actually gets to prove that teacher wrong, like newcomer Ashley McBryde did during her recent Grand Ole Opry debut.
It hit me as soon as I read "artist entrance." The staff was inside the door all smiles. "Miss McBryde you're in room 4. First door on your left." Then it hit me again reading quotes on the wall from other artists debuts. Then again as I walked from room to room studying every dressing room. Seeing Porter Wagoner's rhinestones and Marty's couch. The energy and the warmth of the @opry family is tangible in the hallways. I'm not sure that the walls aren't made of actual love and support disguised as drywall and paint. Every Opry member I spoke to said "welcome Ashley, we are so happy you're with us." Standing in the circle was dizzying. Not in a scary way. But in a way that you can feel the ones before you still in the circle there supporting you and saying welcome home. It was a high I've never even heard of. I made nearly all the way through without crying. But then I glanced at MY boots on THAT circle and it hit me again. And it's still hitting me. And I hope it never stops.
After performing her first song on the Opry, Ashley told a story about a teacher who once tried to kill her dreams of making music for a living. The teacher asked Ashley what she wanted to do when she grew up, and Ashley replied, “I want to move to Nashville and write songs and sing them.”
The teacher wasn’t having it, and simply told Ashley, “That’s stupid.” Ashley continued, “She said I better have a really good backup plan.”
It looks like Ashley won’t be needing that backup plan any time soon. She wrote about that situation in her new song, “Girl Goin’ Nowhere,” which got a great response when Ashley played it on the Opry stage.
The Grand Ole Opry debut comes just a few weeks after country superstar Eric Church brought Ashley onstage at one of his shows for a duet.
They ended up performing Ashley’s song, “Bible and a .44,” at Eric’s request. He called her a “whiskey-drinking badass” when he introduced her to the crowd at Allstate Arena in Chicago.