Last night, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, was probably my last outdoor concert for 2023.  What a way to end Fair Season in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.  Ashley McBryde took the stage at the Washington County Fair in Abingdon, Va., at 8 p.m. Every person in that sold-out reserved section at the Fairgrounds was ready for a night that we all knew would be more than entertaining – it was going to be a lot of fun. The audience certainly didn’t stop inside the gated reserved seating area.  Fans filled the bleachers just outside the reserved section and covered the grassy areas with their lawn chairs.  I’m not sure anyone could have found a blade of grass to stand on to watch that show.

I got to the Fairgrounds early.  I try to do that just in case I might be in time to catch at least a little of soundcheck.  I did yesterday.  She did a very long soundcheck, and then she left the stage and came straight over to the fans who had been watching.  She reached out to hug fans and offered to use our phones to take a selfie with her. I’ve always been impressed with her talents as a singer and songwriter, now, I’m impressed with Ashley McBryde the person. I think it would be impossible to stand next to her, and that infectious smile, and not be impressed.  She has a great personality. She didn’t try to hide from her fans, and I’d like to think she enjoyed those selfies as much as fans did.

I have so much respect and admiration for our country music artists.  They all work hard to build a fan base.  They work hard to reach the goals they have set for themselves.  Ashley McBryde has a lot to be proud of.  She ranks right up there with the very best in every category I could think of. When someone hears Ashley on the radio or sees her on stage, they will immediately check off every box that makes a star a star.  When they have a second to meet her and chat a minute about everything from her tattoos to her music, you can then check off the rest of the boxes.  She is one very special lady. Her quote during the show is one that will always stay with me.  Stretching her arms back toward her band, Ashley said, “You are not here because we are, we are here because you are”. Beautiful way of thinking.

WXBQ Radio was on hand again, not only to introduce Ashley when the show began, but to talk to fair attendees, and do a little live broadcasting from the fairgrounds. Nikki Thomas and Steve Stroud, two of the three on-air personalities form The Morning Air Show were the radio personalities on hand last night. Ben Walker, the third member of that great group will be at the fair tonight.  This is a good time to mention that the morning Air Show has been again nominated for a CMA Award for Best Radio Personalities.  In addition, WXBQ Radio has been nominated for Best Radio Station of the Year.

Ashley sang everything we were hoping she would.  The only thing wrong was, I would have liked to hear a whole lot more!  She put on a 90-minute show, and then came out for an encore.  She tossed out a number of guitar picks to the crowd, and I’m sure there wasn’t a person there who would have rather been anywhere else. She opened the show with “Made For This”, sang things we were all hoping we would hear.  “”One Night Standards”, “Light On In The Kitchen”, “A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega”,  “Girl Goin’ Nowhere”, “Cool Little Bars”, and of course the new one, “The Devil I Know”.  We had fun watching her sing “Brenda Put Your Bra On”, while using three brightly colored bras as part of that performance.  She has a great sense of humor, and it is so obvious she enjoys every minute she is on stage.  She sang a little Pam Tillis for us, and did great with “Maybe It Was Memphis”.

We can’t talk about this show without telling you who those five gentlemen were on stage with Ashley.   It makes the whole night even more enjoyable when you watch the artist working so closely with her band.  So much talent on that stage.  And a really great group of musicians to watch.  Teh interaction between Ashley and the members of her banc made every part of the show great. There was definitely no wasted time while they were on stage.  And, of course we had some conversation between songs as well.  Ashley talked to her audience, and she talked to those great guys on stage with her.  I personally loved the fact that when she introduced her band members, she brought them to the front of the stage with her.  Anyone who has ever tried to take pictures at a concert knows, it’s sure hard to catch the drummer on film when he’s doing his job.

Taking the stage with Ashley were:  Chris Harris, vocals-guitar-mandolin; Wes Dorethy, keys-guitar-vocals; Caleb Hooper, bass-vocals; Quinn Hill, drums; and Matt Helmkemp, lead guitar. At the end of this article, we will be posting a lot of photos from the show.  Of course, we will include photos of the band as well.

My advice to anyone who has never seen Ashley McBryde on stage – just do it!  You will not be disappointed. To keep up with all the latest news about amazing Warner Music Nashville recording artist, including new releases and tour dates, check out all of her social media links.   Website   Facebook   Instagram   Twitter   YouTube   TikTok

Now, a few more photos from last night’s show.

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Last night, Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, was probably my last outdoor concert for 2023.  What a way to end Fair Season in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.  Ashley McBryde took the stage at the Washington County Fair in Abingdon, Va., at 8 p.m. Every person in that sold-out...