In the last few years, Ashley Monroe has cobbled together an impressive country-music pedigree by working alongside both upstarts (Pistol Annies with Miranda Lambert and Angaleena Presley) and longtime Nashville veterans (Vince Gill produced Monroe's solo album Like a Rose), and even collaborating with Jack White every now and then. Monroe belongs to a remarkable wave of gifted young country-singing women who've surfaced with great records in 2013 — a list that also includes Kacey Musgraves, Holly Williams, Brandy Clark and others — while tapping into the relatable searches and struggles of everyday people.
This three-song set at the Tiny Desk, performed with the aid of guitarist John Shaw, captures a nice cross-section of Monroe's appeal: The title track from Like a Rose tells an optimistic story of survival, the ambivalent ballad "You Got Me" chronicles ill-advised romantic obsession, and, of course, the Top 40 country hit "Weed Instead of Roses" functions as a playful, fun-loving mission statement. Speaking of "Weed Instead of Roses," which closes this charming performance, Monroe says the straitlaced Gill insisted upon the song's inclusion on Like a Rose — even going so far as to declare it a condition of his producing the album. The guy knew what he was talking about, both in his support of the song and of Monroe herself.
- "Like A Rose"
- "You Got Me"
- "Weed Instead Of Roses"
Producers: Denise DeBelius, Stephen Thompson; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Denise DeBelius, Gabriella Garcia-Pardo, Becky Harlan; photo by Chloe Coleman/NPR