Never let it be said that Ashley McBryde doesn’t suffer for her art.
In the new video for the sultry “American Scandal,” the country singer/songwriter visibly winces as she gets a new tattoo on camera, but then in appropriately country fashion she drinks off the pain.
The clip, directed by Horatio Baltz, follows a typical day for McBryde in her Little Rock, Ark. hometown. Her usual activities, all depicted in the video, include hanging with her godsons, getting some ink and then partying with her friends at Reno’s, the bar she played for 11 years before signing her label deal and moving to Nashville. McBryde will release her full-length Warner Music Nashville debut, Girl Going Nowhere, on March 30.
In the video, her real godsons wrestle and play around and even give each other a fake tattoo, while McBryde gets the real thing from her longtime tattoo artist, who is responsible for the tattoo sleeves that cover the singer’s arms and chest. “I get recognized more for my tattoos than my face,” she says.
The one thing the video does not address is “American Scandal’s” lyrical message of experiencing a romance so torrid that it captures the passion of the alleged affair between John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe.
“This is the first of two videos,” explains McBryde, who will appear on Late Night With Seth Meyers on Jan. 23. ”The viewer gets to imprint their own love story onto it. For us to literally take it and show what it might mean would almost be neutering.”
A future video may address the song in a more literal fashion, but “we won’t spell it out for anyone. Your love is your love. It doesn’t matter whether you’re 18 or 68, there can still be someone that makes you feel that way.”
The song, co-written with Randall Clay and Terri Jo Box, came about as the three were day drinking on a friend’s patio. “I call it having a meeting,” McBryde laughs. “I was complaining about love songs and how I haven’t heard one in a long time that I believed. All I wanted to say is something that I would believe in if you said it to me and if you said it in a way that’s not so feathery and crap. I would want it to feel almost scandalous. I would want it to be like Kennedy and Monroe.”
“American Scandal” follows Girl Going Nowhere’s first single, “A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega,” which reached No. 1 on SiriusXM’s The Highway Top 30 and is now rising at terrestrial radio.
For months, McBryde has been receiving serious acclaim for her full-throated country vocals and solid song craft. She has already toured with Chris Stapleton and Eric Church, who called her a “whiskey-drinking bad ass.”
She’s even caught the attention of Garth Brooks, who heard her perform at a songwriter’s night at Nashville’s famed Bluebird Cafe and called her the next day about two of her songs. He didn’t cut either one, but he performed the title track in concert in Spokane, Wash., this fall. “I didn’t know he was going to cover it,” she says. “It was 2 a.m. in Tennessee and I got a text from his lighting director of him singing it. It blew my mind.”
As thrilling as that was, for McBryde her biggest pinch-me moment so far was stepping onto the wood circle at the Grand Ole Opry last year.The sacred circle is from the Opry’s original home, Ryman Auditorium, and was moved when the Opry relocated to its new home in 1974. “That was life changing,” McBryde says. “Growing up, the Opry was my Hollywood. It was my Mt. Rushmore.”