LISTEN: Ashley McBryde’s ‘Cool Little Bars’ Captures The Charm Of Local Establishments

McBryde co-wrote the tune alongside Lainey Wilson and Trick Savage.


Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

August 4, 2023


4:01 pm

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Ashley McBryde; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Ashley McBryde pays tribute to the dives, holes in the wall and local establishments that welcomed her in the early days of her career with her new song, “Cool Little Bars.”

Throughout the tune, the GRAMMY award winner romanticizes all the quirks and traditions that live within the walls of each of these bars, showcasing what makes them unique and special to the world. She puts her stunning vocals on display through the lyrics that clearly paint a picture of the places that have become a second home to many locals, visitors and artists like herself. 

“As y’all know, I have a huge appreciation for bars that have stood the test of time and have a lot of character,” McBryde shared via press release. “I played them for many, many years, and I’m proud of the education I gained, and I’m proud to be able to give such bars credit for my entertainment style.”

While celebrating her favorite elements of these “Cool Little Bars,” McBryde also addresses a bigger issue at hand in the song which she penned alongside Lainey Wilson and Trick Savage. 

“In a time when so many of our staple establishments are being torn down to make room for far less charming, sterile and predictable gathering spaces, I thought we’d better celebrate the ones we have left and the ones we’ve yet to warm a seat in,” she continues. “With the help of Trick Savage and Lainey Wilson, I think we said it pretty good. So, thank you for dart boards, sticky table tops, bathrooms with broken stall doors and bartenders that can mix a drink while whoopin’ an ass. We see you and we need you. God bless cool little bars.”

Using the sounds of an amplified harmonica and classic guitar riffs, the “Girl Going Nowhere” singer revisits her roots with a tinge of nostalgic grit in her voice and a whole lot of stripped-down authenticity. 


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“I pray time just forgets to turn places like this into drive-throughs and condos / Lord knows we need those little holes in the wall / For lost souls and old stray dogs / God bless two for ones and broken hearts / And cool little bars,” McBryde delivers on the chorus. 

New Album Coming Soon

“Cool Little Bars” marks another glimpse into McBryde’s next album, The Devil I Know, set for release on September 8 via Warner Music. The tune follows a string of releases off the forthcoming project including the title track, “Learned To Lie,” her current single that’s climbing the charts in the top 25, “Light On In The Kitchen” and her recently released “Made for This.”

Ashley McBryde; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Ashley McBryde; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Serving as the album opener, “Made For This” kicks down the door and makes way for a hard-hitting look into McBryde’s musical journey that required plenty of the long nights. Now that the Arkansas native’s dreams are finally coming true before her eyes and the challenging days of touring in a tightly-packed truck are gone for good, she can recount her story through this song. 

“‘Cause most days you’re stuck in a truck / One big break from blowing up / But one of these days you’re gonna get a bus / And let somebody else drive / But right now it’s just Adderall, alcohol / Your dressing room is a bathroom stall / ‘Cause you turn it on when the big man calls / ‘Cause he ain’t gonna call you twice / And it’s calling home for a telephone goodnight kiss / Ya gotta be made for this,” she sings. 

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Written by McBryde and Travis Meadows, “Made For This” has been a live staple for McBryde and her band Deadhorse now it’s finally been unveiled as a studio recording.

“Travis Meadows and I wrote ‘Made For This,’ and at the time, I was still touring in a van and he was using his truck, so we definitely had touring and the life of musicians top of mind,” shares McBryde. “But this song reaches beyond that. It’s not just touring musicians and bands and crews who are on the road 200+ days a year who are ‘calling home for a telephone goodnight kiss.’ It’s also members of our military, our truck drivers and those that work long or odd hours sacrificing time with their family. We’re lucky we’re made for this.”

On Tour

Ashley McBryde has a slew of headlining and festival shows scheduled for the remainder of the summer and into the fall months. Additionally, she has been tapped to serve as support on tour dates with Jelly Roll and Dierks Bentley. 

Ashley McBryde is next slated to perform at the Oregon Jamboree Music Festival 2023 in Sweet Home, Oregon on August 4. 

For a complete list of upcoming tour dates, visit McBryde’s official website

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.