The second act of the day on the Yamaha Music Stage was singer-songwriter Ashley Monroe. Perhaps not one of the better-known artists on the bill here in the UK, Monroe has been enjoying success in the US with her beautiful album The Blade. Taking to the stage straight after Dwight Yoakam’s main stage set, Monroe offered up a nice blend of traditional and contemporary Country music.
Accompanied only by her acoustic guitar, Monroe performed three songs kicking off with 2013’s Like a Rose, taken from her album of the same name. She quickly brought silence to the audience as they listened intently to her gorgeous voice delivering the beautiful song. She followed it with her controversial single Weed Instead of Roses, which she explained her grandfather had misunderstood the meaning of when she originally played it to him. The song is an example of Monroe’s clever lyrics and distinctive humour.
Monroe’s set came to a close with the raucous Winning Streak, one of the highlights from The Blade. The acoustic arrangement gave the song a new lease of life and it sounded fantastic. Monroe’s voice can sound fragile on the softer parts of her songs but Winning Streak really allows her to let rip and showcase the power she possesses.
Given the huge reaction she had following her performance, I would predict that Monroe will return to the UK sooner rather than later. She’s a unique type of Country artist playing to her own rules, and her music stands out all the more for it. Roll on a headline tour!
Set List: 1. Like a Rose 2. Weed Instead of Roses 3. Winning Streak Performance Date: Friday 11th March 2016