Lindeville is where Ashley McBryde’s characters come to life

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE. – Country singer-songwriter Ashley McBryde had a whole cast of colorful characters who lived in her songs, and in her friends’ songs too, and now she’s got a town to thrive in.

The award-winning Arkansas singer and a group of her songwriting buddies created Lindeville (LIN’-dee-vill), a nod to the late songwriter Dennis Lindewho wrote quirky, character-driven songs like “Goodbye Earl.”

Ashley McBryde Presents: Lindeville, out now, is a collaborative concept album McBryde and her friends created to give a home to the small town misfits and their sometimes drunk and half-naked antics. In McBryde’s fictional town there is the Dandelion Diner, the Forkem Family Funeral Home, the Dennis Linde Ballfeld, Ronnie’s Pawnshop and of course a Food City. And there are songs about Pete, the Vietnamese vet who tends the ball field; Patti, who works at the strip club where they host a gospel night; and Tina, who caught her husband Marvin cheating and beating up the girl who works in Sun Tan City.

“It’s a fictional town, but it’s also every little town you’ve ever been to,” McBryde said. “We have this really cool livestock trailer full of really interesting characters.”

Her co-writers on the concept album include Aaron Raitiere, Connie Harrington, Brandy Clark, Benjy Davis and Nicolette Hayford, and guest vocals include Brothers Osborne, Caylee Hammack and Pillbox Patti.

With radio nods like A Prairie Home Companion, McBryde and his crew crafted detailed storylines with the sensitivity and compassion of John Prine. There are mysteries that leave listeners in awe, backstories that give people depth and redemption, and killer one-liners that are both explicit and hilarious. The tattooed singer has earned a reputation as a creative risk-taker in country music, and on “Lindeville,” she encouraged everyone involved in the project to take the songs with them wherever they went, even if it was dark or different or not appropriate for radio.

“There’s definitely a different level of freedom and a little bit of carefreeness because at No. 1 is about a collaboration. It’s a community-driven thing that requires multiple voices and multiple brains,” McBryde said. “But we didn’t intend to broadcast it either, which gives a lot more freedom, especially in terms of language. Because sometimes I feel you have to use profane language to get the point across. And if that is the truth, then it must be there.”

John Osborne, of the duo Brothers Osborne, produced the album, which features commercial jingles that McBryde sings for the various Lindeville stores. “When you meet your maker, we’ll be your undertaker,” McBryde sings of the city’s funeral home.

McBryde, who is has five nominations at this year’s CMA Awards, says she was inspired by the character study concept albums Bobby Bare and Shel Silverstein made in the 70’s that became classics. “Love projects like this don’t come around very often in country music,” McBryde said. “And while it’s not a huge part of our country’s tradition, it’s a rare part. It’s one I’m terribly proud of, keeping the torch burning.”




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Sarah Y. Kim

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