2016’s double album The Weight of These Wings was her best work yet, and that’s saying something given that her previous two records showed up in my top five albums of the first half of the 2010s.
Monroe hit my radar as one of the three Pistol Annies, then won me over as a solo artist with her 2013 album Like a Rose. Its follow-up, 2015’s The Blade, was an even stronger record, making my expectations sky high for the upcoming Sparrow.
Unfortunately my favorite country artist (and one of my favorite anything artists), Miranda Lambert, took 2015 off (though I can’t wait for her inevitable break-up album).
Fortunately her Pistol Annies bandmate Ashley Monroe stepped up to fill Lambert’s shows admirably with solo album The Blade.
At least one recent release, Ashley Monroe’s The Blade, has been a delightful standout.
I discovered Monroe as one third of Pistol Annies and really enjoyed her 2013 album Like a Rose, but The Blade puts her on a whole new level.
This has to be the strongest year in recent memory for female country artists. I’ve already posted a Pistol Annies song, and today’s SOTD is the first of three by female country performers in my top ten.
Ashley Monroe is herself a member of Pistol Annies, making her the only artist to show up in my top 25 twice.
Monroe, one third of the Pistol Annies, has a lot of the wit and flair that have made her friend and band mate Miranda Lambert a big star. This album has received a ton of acclaim and performed modestly well on the charts, but I don’t know if Monroe will hit the mainstream (or if she even wants to).
I didn’t plan it that way. Brad Paisley and Pistol Annies released new albums, which I naturally snapped up as a fan of both. Then the excellent newcomer Kacey Musgraves burst onto the scene amid a flurry of great reviews so I picked that one up. Finally, Ashley Monroe, one of the Pistol Annies, released her own solo album to critical raves.