Ashley Monroe Reveals ‘The Truth’ About Songwriting
Ashley Monroe, who had an artist deal on Sony before becoming one of country’s busiest independent artists, is finding just as much success writing songs for other people.
Penning Jason Aldean‘s new single, ‘The Truth,’ with hit songwriter Brett James, Ashley’s resurgence on the country charts has had a profound effect on her. “It humbles me, really,” she tells CMT. “I’m just so blessed and fortunate to even have amazing artists to consider — to even record — one of these songs, and then to be able to get it out to that many people.”
Ashley is thrilled with Jason’s version of her song. “Oh, I love it!” she says. “He sings his butt off! He and I have the same manager, so as soon as I could get an advanced copy of [Jason’s album] ‘Wide Open.’ I did. I listen to it all the time and forget that I wrote it. I literally just listen to the song and listen to him sing it, realizing, ‘Oh, my gosh. I’m a part of this?’ He’s an amazing, amazing singer.”
Another artist who’s a fan of Ashley’s songwriting is Miranda Lambert. The Grammy-nominated singer collaborated with Ashley on two songs, ‘Me and Your Cigarettes’ and ‘Heart Like Mine’ for her latest album,’ Revolution.’
“‘Me and Your Cigarettes’ was actually called ‘Your Cigarettes and Me,’ and there was a whole other melody, but I had these words,” Ashley recalls. “I went to her house in Lindale, Texas, right before [2007’s ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’] album came out. We were sitting on her back deck and she finished it with me. She liked the idea. … She called me the day they cut it and said, “I just wanted to tell you that Blake Shelton and I were kind of fiddling with it, and it’s kind of changed a bit. It’s still our words, but it’s a different beat, and we’ve changed it to ‘Me and Your Cigarettes.’ I went to the studio and heard it and [said], ‘Oh, please! This is amazing.’ She said, ‘I hope you’re not mad.’ Are you kidding me?”
The duo traveled to Pigeon Forge, Tenn. to work on ‘Heart Like Mine,’ but the experience turned out to be a little frightening for one of them. “I’m from East Tennessee, so I took her to Dollywood,” Ashley says. “I said, ‘You’ve got to go to Dollywood.’ We got a little cabin in Gatlinburg, and we were sitting on the porch there picking on guitar, and I kept hearing things. She said, ‘Oh, my god. Bring me a steak knife so you’ll shut up!’ She’s tougher than I am. She had a steak knife next to her. We were saying, ‘Let’s write something really honest.’ All of it’s true to her life.”
Ashley, who still loves performing, has no plans of shifting her focus solely back to her artist career any time soon. “To get the opportunity to have something that I helped create be heard by millions of people with these amazing artists singing it, who I respect greatly, it’s just really humbling.”