By Brian Ives 

Ashley Monroe has filled many roles over the course of her career: she’s in a band (aka the Pistol Annies), she’s been a behind-the-scenes songwriter (writing Jason Aldean‘s “The Truth”), and has been a studio collaborator (she’s worked with Jack White‘s Raconteurs and also on rockabilly legend Wanda Jackson’s comeback album, which was produced by White).

But she’s also a highly acclaimed solo artist: her most recent two solo albums were produced by Vince Gill, and Alison Krauss sings backup on a song on Monroe’s latest, The Blade. As the song goes, she has friends in high places.

And then there’s her pal Miranda Lambert, with whom she often co-writes. The two are bandmates in the Pistol Annies (along with singer/songwriter Angaleena Presley).

But famous friends and collaborators aside, The Blade is very much about Monroe, who co-wrote nearly every song on the album. It feels like this is her moment to break out as a superstar on her own. She tells that she hopes that that’s the case, but she didn’t focus on it while she was working on the album.

Related: Ashley Monroe Announces 2015 Blade Tour Dates

“I didn’t think too much about it in the studio: ‘This song could be a hit!’ Or ‘The critics will love this song!'” she says.  “I just put my heart and soul into every song and made sure it sounded exactly how we wanted it to sound. It was not until until the record was finished and almost released that I thought ‘I hope everyone loves it!’ Because I was so proud of it.”

Read and watch the full interview on


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