The Blade

The Blade

by Ashley Monroe


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The title The Blade suggests a certain flintiness from Ashley Monroe and while there's little question she's tough, she wraps that steeliness underneath a smooth surface -- a feint that means her songs sigh as often as they slight, sometimes revealing their intent only after they've wormed their way into the subconscious. This is truer of The Blade than it is of 2013's Like a Rose, partially due to how it's a grander, lusher revision of her major-label solo debut, constructed out of similar elements -- and with the same sympathetic producers, Vince Gill and Justin Niebank -- but covering greater ground. Some of this is a mere matter of length: at 13 tracks and 46 minutes, it's a quarter longer than the breezy Like a Rose. Extra space gives Monroe room to roam, to ease herself into territory residing on the fringes of her neo-classicism. "On to Something Good" opens The Blade with a persistent bounce, a bubbling beat closer to mainstream '80s country radio than a single buried on a roadhouse jukebox (a sound the closer, "I'm Good at Leavin'," happily evokes). Elsewhere, she slides into gorgeous neo-soul ("Bombshell") and a bit of modern country-pop ("If Love Was Fair," which in another era would be a soft rock crossover), sounds unheard on Like a Rose but functioning as effective accents to Monroe's rootsier moments, such as the rollicking boogie "Winning Streak," the gentle country-folk "Mayflowers," and the minor-key back-porch shuffle "Dixie." All this makes for a diverse set of songs but the key to Monroe's appeal is that she seems neither showy nor calculating when she expands beyond her classic country roots. She rolls easy, luxuriating in that exquisite sound, her soft touch making the heartbreak and the humor seem equally alluring.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/24/2015
Label: Warner Bros / Wea
UPC: 0093624926955
catalogNumber: 549777
Rank: 16024

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ashley Monroe   Primary Artist,Background Vocals
Alison Krauss   Background Vocals
Marty Stuart   Background Vocals
Eric Darken   Percussion
Paul Martin   Background Vocals
Richard Bennett   Electric Guitar
Stuart Duncan   Fiddle
Paul Franklin   Steel Guitar
Vince Gill   Dulcimer,Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals
Tony Harrell   Synthesizer,Keyboards
Anthony LaMarchina   Cello
Justin Niebank   Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Electric Guitar,Keyboards
Michael Rhodes   Bass
Harry Stinson   Background Vocals
Jeff White   Background Vocals
Charles Dixon   Violin,Viola
Tim Lauer   Keyboards
Fred Eltringham   Drums
Derek Wells   Electric Guitar
Miranda Lambert   Background Vocals
Tom Bucovac   Electric Guitar
Jimmie Sloas   Bass
Danny Rader   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Mandola
Charlie Judge   Synthesizer,Strings,Keyboards,Hammond B3
Sarah Zimmermann   Background Vocals
Charlie Warsham   Background Vocals
Dan Tyminski   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Matraca Berg   Composer
John Grady   Management
Marc Beeson   Composer
Barry Dean   Composer
Vince Gill   Composer,Producer
Justin Niebank   Producer,Engineer
Allen Shamblin   Composer
Drew Bollman   Engineer
Brendan Benson   Composer
Gordie Sampson   Composer
Steve McEwan   Composer
Miranda Lambert   Composer
Jessi Alexander   Composer
Ashley Monroe   Composer
Justin Luffman   Management
Tyler Cain   Composer
Luke Laird   Composer
Chris Stapleton   Composer
Matt Rausch   Engineer
Jamie Floyd   Composer
Steven Moakler   Composer
Mike Moore   Art Direction
Sarah Zimmermann   Composer
Justin Davis   Composer

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