Before we took the stage for an interview before her First Listen Live performance at WNYC's The Greene Space, Ashley Monroe and I did what two people who've just met often do: We chatted about the weather. A Southern-style heat wave had descended upon Manhattan, and it was messing a little with our fun. Monroe, a student of retro fashion who's particularly fond of the 1960s mod look, told of going to the Manhattan outlet of England's Topshop and almost getting stuck in one snug dress because of the humidity. By this evening, though, she was cool and confident, fielding my questions about her coming of age as a Nashville songwriter, her love of traditional and modern sounds, and, yes, how style works on a deep level in her music as both a framework and a conveyor of new ideas. Ashley Monroe is known for her dulcet voice, but her sharp mind is what's made her able to evolve into a top-notch songwriter and bandleader. I feel lucky to have had this warm exchange with her.
Producer: Saidah Blount
Host: Ann Powers
Director: David McLean
Videographers: Adam Wolffbrandt, Noah Yuan-Vogel
Video Switcher: Andrea Marroquin
Audio Team: Ricardo Fernandez, Gaines Legare, Chase Culpon, Ernie Indradat
Executive Producer: Anya Grundmann