By Maura Harwood
Who: Ashley Monroe
Where: Knoxville, TN
For fans of: Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Katrina Elam
Die-hard country fans may be in tune to the female power-group the Pistol Annies, featuring country superstar Miranda Lambert. The band has earned such hits as “Hell On Heels” and “Boys From The South,” some of which have been certified gold.
However, fans may not realize the innate solo talents of one of the group members: Ashley Monroe, set to release her album Like A Rose in March.
Growing up in Knoxville, Tenn., just a few hours outside of Music City, U.S.A, Monroe started her career early, playing guitar at a young age and winning country talent competitions.
After her father’s untimely death at age 13, Monroe moved to Nashville with her mother to pursue a lifelong dream of making it in the country music world. She signed her first publishing deal within a year of the move and even scored a recording contract, releasing her first ever single “Satisfied,” which earned her considerable praise.
At age 20, a record company merger left her recorded album in the dust, leaving her back at square one. However, Monroe prevailed, going on to record a successful EP with singer-songwriter Trent Dabbs as well as earning the coveted title of background vocals on an album produced by Jack White. In addition, Monroe recorded “Bruises” with Pat Monahan of the band Train, which was featured on their 2012 album California 37. Most notably, however, Ashley Monroe is known for her work with the Pistol Annies, a band formed with fellow songwriters Angaleena Presley and Miranda Lambert.
Ashley is now set to release her first solo album with Warner Music Nashville. Like A Rose, due out March 5, 2013 and produced by country great Vince Gill and Justin Niebank, features songs co-written by Monroe herself. The songs tap into a range of emotions, stemming from Monroe’s own life and stories of the lives of others. Some songs come directly from her own diaries as well as her previous album Satisfied.
She even features Miranda Lambert’s husband and star of “The Voice,” country music artist Blake Shelton, on a song titled “You Ain’t Dolly (And You Ain’t Porter).”
With a beautiful voice and lyrics that bring you home in the truest sense of the word, Ashley Monroe has already proved that she can play in the big leagues alongside her friends who belong to country’s elite.
For more on Ashley Monroe, visit her website at www.ashleymonroe.com or on Twitter at @ashleymonroe!