At Sunday’s Grammys, one of the unlikeliest records is up for the coveted Best Country Album trophy: Ashley McBryde Presents: Lindeville. Unlikely, because even Ashley herself agrees it’s a project that by conventional standards would probably never have gotten the green light. 

Lindeville’s a concept album about a fictional town and its residents, written and performed by some of Nashville’s most talented tunesmiths and singers. 

“It started out with like, ‘We should go do a thing and write these songs,"” Ashley tells ABC Audio. “And then we did. And we’re like, ‘We love them!"”

“And then we got home and we’re playing the work tapes for people,” she continues. “Like, I was over at Miranda [Lambert]’s one day and it was like me and Caylee [Hammack] were over there and hanging out, and I was like, ‘You got to listen to this bra song."”

“And then people that we’re playing the work tapes for are like, ‘This is dope.’ And I was like, ‘I know. But maybe we can make some demos of it."”

From there, Ashley got an unexpected avalanche of yeses, from getting the go-ahead to spend money on demos to landing her pal John Osborne as producer.

“I sent him the work tapes, and he was like ‘Hell yes,"” she says, remembering her reaction: “What is happening? Several of these should have been nos.”  

Ironically, Miranda may’ve accidentally created some competition for herself. Her record, Palomino, is up for Best Country Album as well, alongside Luke Combs‘ Growin’ Up, Maren Morris‘ Humble Quest, and Willie Nelson‘s A Beautiful Time.

You can find out who wins Sunday as the Grammys air live from Los Angeles starting at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.