For someone known to be so brutally frank in songs like "Girl Goin' Nowhere," Ashley McBryde's kept elements of her personal life to herself. She's been so private about her dating life that some read way too much into the meaning of her 2018 song "Andy (I Can't Live Without You)" just to have something to gossip about while McBryde makes her regular appearances on the ACM Awards, CMA Awards, CMT Music Awards and other massive platforms for her music.
In reality, the Andy in Waldron, Arkansas-born singer-songwriter McBryde's life is her longtime best friend, guitarist and roommate, Andrew Sovine.
"I had gotten home before him and asked when he was gonna get to the house, and he texted and said he wasn't coming home that night. I thought, 'Well, I'll drink by myself,'" McBryde told NPR in 2018. "I reached up and grabbed my bottle of Elijah Craig [bourbon], and there wasn't as much in it. He'd been drinking my whiskey without asking. Then I looked at my house and my life. It was been a wreck since Andrew Sovine had moved in with me. I thought I would just kinda vent and complain about it. Through doing that, I [realized], 'Man, that is my absolute best friend in this whole wide world.'"
Sovine, a Nashville native, began touring with the Grammy award nominated Fox Brothers in 2005. Since then, he's performed on the road and in studio for McBryde, Wynonna, Chase Rice, Don Gallardo, Cale Tyson and Ian Noe.
Although she's just friends with Sovine, McBryde's encountered some whispers in the music industry.
"I think people in town for a long time thought Andrew and I were together. I mean, I know they did," she shared with NPR. "I joke with people: 'This is why I don't write love songs, guys, because that song is about my buddy.'"
Sovine can be heard on both of McBryde's Jay Joyce-produced albums for Warner Music Nashville: 2018's Girl Going Nowhere and 2020's Never Will. He also appears in multiple music videos, including a benchmark for both friends' country music careers, "A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega."
McBryde is the CMA's defending New Artist of the Year. At this year's CMA Awards (broadcast live on Nov. 11 on ABC), she vies for Female Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year for Never Will and Musical Event of the Year for a cover of "Fooled Around and Fell in Love" featuring Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris, Elle King, Tenille Townes and Caylee Hammack.
Before all of this notoriety, McBryde was an Arkansas State University graduate, playing her father's guitar and cutting such independent releases as Elsebound (2011) and the Jalopies & Expensive Guitars EP (2016).
As mentioned before, "A Little Dive Bar in Dahlonega" changed McBryde and her band's fortunes en route to it being named one of the 54 Best Songs of 2017 by the New York Times and one of Rolling Stone's Top 25 country songs that same year.