Ashley McBryde Flipped the Meaning of Brooks & Dunn’s ‘You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone’ on ‘Reboot’ [LISTEN]
Brooks & Dunn hit the jackpot, collaboration-wise, on their new record Reboot. Among a list of the brightest new stars in country music with whom the iconic duo re-recorded their biggest hits is Ashley McBryde. The "Girl Goin' Nowhere" singer joined Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn to record a simple, soulful version of their 1995 single "You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone."
Brooks caught wind of McBryde early on in her career, pulled up a video of her singing with Eric Church and was immediately impressed. "I was like, 'God, I love her,'" he recalls to The Boot. "She’s different. She’s not this glam girl; she’s just this cool lady with great songs, and, man, can she sing."
When it came time to call up artists for Reboot, McBryde was a shoo-in. And once they got into the studio, the process was a breeze.
"Kix just showed up with her, and there was no plan in the studio," Ronnie Dunn recalls. "We weren’t being dictated how to do the songs. We just would walk into the vocal booth, and someone would be like, 'Let’s take it acoustically for a second,' and start running it down and go, 'Don’t take it any further than that; keep that instrumentation, and let’s see how it develops.'"
While this approach to Reboot allowed all of the artists involved room for experimentation, McBryde came in knowing exactly what she wanted to do.
"[Producer] Dann [Huff is] in the studio. He goes, 'Ashley McBryde’s on the phone. She’s coming over here to record this. She wants to know what we’re doing.' I go, 'Well, put her on the phone,'" Brooks remembers. "I got the phone on speaker phone in my lap, with the guitar playing down, finding her key, telling her how the key change is gonna go and all that, and she’s singing it back to me as she pulls in the parking lot, walks in the studio, makes some small talk with me and Ronnie, walks in the vocal booth, and we laid her down.
"It happened like that," he adds. "Man, she’s a magical lady."
Like many of the Reboot tracks, the meaning of "You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone" changes when coming from a different perspective. Brooks & Dunn had worked out an arrangement of the song to perform with Reba McEntire during their Las Vegas residency a few years ago, and the lyrics coming from McBryde took on a similar meaning.
"I always thought it was strange, and -- I reference from years ago, [Travis Tritt's hit] "Here's a Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares)." First time I heard that song, I thought, 'Women are gonna hate this. Women don’t like to be told off,'" Brooks says. "You know what? It was a huge women’s song because girls are great at turning that stuff around on us. It’s like, 'Here’s a quarter, son, call someone who cares.' All of a sudden, women start saying that. They never took that into consideration that this is some dude saying it to a girl. Immediately, they flipped it.
"It was the same way on "You’re Gonna Miss Me ..." When we wrote that song, it’s about a guy who this girl’s letting down, and he’s saying this," he continues. "It was a huge women’s song because I think women took this into their own hearts, brains and situations, and it worked out that way. It made total sense."
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