Bride & Groom MOM Subscribe

Find Local

After Hours Blog > From the Magazine|Where & When Picks

Ashley Monroe Talks Music, Marriage, and Her Best Year Ever

The country singer, whose sophomore album, “Like a Rose,” won over critics in 2013, plays Birchmere this weekend.

Ashley Monroe, who plays the Birchmere, says her last album “highlighted the super-sad songs I’m the best at writing—unfortunately for me.” Photograph courtesy of the Birchmere.

The invisible boundary that seems to keep country music marginalized north of the Mason-Dixon Line took a beating last year thanks to Ashley Monroe, a 27-year-old from Knoxville, Tennessee, whose sophomore album, Like a Rose, received almost universal acclaim. Rolling Stone placed it at number 18 on its list of the year’s best records, while Jon Caramanica of the New York Times ranked it the third-best album of 2013, praising Monroe as “a sly singer and a vivid songwriter” and the record as “aching and sharp.”

“I couldn’t be more thankful for all the support,” Monroe says. “I really didn’t know what to expect—I just knew I had to make that record, so it was such a relief when people accepted it.”

Like a Rose includes “Used,” a subversive paean to things life has knocked around, from a favorite pair of shoes to an ancient piano to the singer herself. In the deceptively pretty “Like a Rose,” she recalls childhood trauma and broken relationships with knowing bravado, insisting none of it has touched her. “There were a lot of things I wanted to say, and I think the record showcased my sense of humor but also the super-sad songs I’m the best at writing—unfortunately for me,” she says.

Monroe is working on a new album in between performing a handful of shows, including a headlining gig at the Birchmere April 13, where she opened for Don Williams last year. “I’m definitely not replicating Like a Rose,” she says of the record. “It’s going to be different, but it’s definitely country because my voice is country and I’m country. Honesty is how I think about country music, and it’s just in my blood, I guess.”

Tickets ($20) at birchmere.com.

This article appears in the April 2014 issue of Washingtonian.

Read Next

WashingTelevision: Scandal Recap, Season Three, Episode 17, “Flesh and Blood”

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus

Most Popular on Washingtonian

Kevin Spacey's Brilliant and Weirdly Effective Campaign to Win Over DC

The Insane Story of the Guy Who Killed the Guy Who Killed Lincoln

The Union Market Housing Boom Is About to Explode

Did the Nationals Dump Chuck Brown?

The Great Washington Bucket List: 50 Things Every Local Needs to Do

Arlington Towing Company in Britt McHenry Video Has a Long History of Complaints

Peek Inside a Historic Kalorama Condo Listed for Under $435,000

12 New Restaurants to Try Now

Watch Foo Fighters' Homage to Jim Vance