Monroe has always operated on a slightly different wavelength than her peers. Despite having become one of the most respected and acclaimed traditional-leaning country singers in Nashville over the past decade—earning the respect and friendship of everyone from superstars like Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton to legends like Vince Gill and Dolly Parton—the year-old singer has never quite found her place within the larger world of country music. Her music is anchored by her quivering East Tennessee voice and her deft, carefully crafted songwriting. But it is seemingly too traditional and sparse to find a home among mainstream country hits, and too straightforwardly country—devoid of all kitsch—to appeal to the type of younger, crossover audience that has flocked to pop-fluent artists like Kacey Musgraves. But on Monroe's new album, Sparrow , a collection of self-probing reflections set to an ornate, gorgeously rendered blend of genres like '70s singer-songwriter and '60s countrypolitan, Monroe has made the most daring statement of her career. Monroe has had to fight to stand on her own ground ever since she moved to Nashville at age 15 with her mom.
Monroe gave birth to Dalton William Danks, her son with baseball player husband John Danks, in August , retreating from songwriting during her pregnancy, during which she admits she did little other than eat and gain weight once the album was finished. Monroe sat down with Rolling Stone Country recently to talk, among other subjects, sex, drugs and Kanye. She also details how her unborn child motivated her in the studio and recalls how a crush she had on a young songwriter, whose presence is featured throughout the new album, was thwarted by the discovery of his famous country-music boyfriend. Other than the fact that he has a pretty impeccable track record, what made you decide to work with Dave Cobb on this album? A lot of my favorite current artists right now are making music with him. The instrumentation is a little different from your previous records, especially the overwhelming presence of strings. Was there anything he did that really surprised you? A lot of the solos, or a lot of parts, are strings. We did get some bongos out at one point.
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Jewly Hight. Ashley Monroe's fourth album, Sparrow , comes out April Ashley Monroe was barely old enough for a driver's permit when she first began making the rounds on Music Row, trying to get her country career going and envisioning the inevitable progression it would follow. Then soon after, you get a bus, surely. After that, you're gonna win a Grammy.
Are they more socially liberal now? But maybe they always have been to some extent. The question arises because a new sisterhood of straight-talking women has been revolutionising the country world. Clark is a professional Nashville songwriter of more than a decade's standing whose own debut album, 12 Stories , is released this month. Among the artists she has written for are the young Texan Kacey Musgraves, this year's breakout country wunderkind, and Miranda Lambert — arguably the grande dame of the movement, a woman whose ferocious narratives have been scorching a path through country since , both solo and in her all-female Pistol Annies trio. In , drugs, gay relationships and casual sex are no longer radical subjects in pop — but they're hot-button issues in mainstream country, as the saga of Musgraves's latest single, Follow Your Arrow , demonstrates. On stage at the Bush Hall in London earlier this year, Musgraves revealed that she had been pushing for it to be a single in the face of hesitation from her record label, who were fearful that country radio would reject it. In our interview afterwards, Musgraves said, with obvious frustration: "Whether radio or the industry wants to admit it, I think [country] music's ready for it. There's enough free-thinking, open-minded young people who would support that song. It frustrates me because there's a disconnect — the people want it.