Single Review: Ashley McBryde, “Martha Divine”

“Martha Divine”

Ashley McBryde

Written by Ashley McBryde and Jeremy Spillman

The genre’s most promising rising star looks to build on the success of her breakthrough single, “One Night Standards,” with a compelling tale of murderous revenge.

“Martha Divine” isn’t the first country song to make infidelity a sin punishable by death, but the novelty of this one is its fresh perspective: the daughter of a philandering father putting her daddy’s lover in the ground.  Martha “put her hands on the wrong damn man this time,” she sings, and hey, “it ain’t murder if I bury you alive.”

The top notch songwriting is matched with a driving beat that demonstrates just how much more effective live percussion is.  It’s a cool sounding record with an entertaining storyline.

However, like many great songwriters before her, McBryde’s vocal style hasn’t entirely caught up to the ambition and scope of her writing.  She makes a few awkward phrasing choices that interrupt the flow of the lyrics.  I suspect this one will be honed on the road over time, and she’ll get better at delivering it.

Grade: B+


  1. Good song – won’t dispute your rating. I still consider “Stone” to be the best song on Ashley’s Never Will album even though it never will be a single.

  2. The songs that immediately come to my mind when listening to this recording are Tanya Tucker’s exceptional “Blood Red and Goin’ Down” and Reba’s “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia.” While this song doesn’t quite measure up to these classics, I do agree that McBryde is the genre’s most promising rising star, and I look forward to her releases.

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