“When it came time to make this record, his name just kept popping in my head,” Monroe tells Radio.com. “That’s who gets me completely. He gets exactly what my soul is, he gets exactly what my voice is. I just knew I had to have him produce this record. Thank God he said yes.”
Her writing relationship with Gill dates back to her teens. So when it came to choosing a producer for the album, he was her first and only pick.
“I moved to town when I was 15 years old from Knoxville,” she recalls. “Right after I moved there, Vince got a hold of some of my demos and called me one day and asked me to go to breakfast. I was freaking out.”
The morning of their big breakfast appointment, though, Monroe realized she needed a ride. She sheepishly called Gill. “I’m 15,” she told him. “I don’t have a car or a license, so you’re going to have to come pick me up.” From that moment, she says, they just bonded.
“The sound of her voice right off the bat you go, ‘OK, that’s a winner, that’s undeniable.’ It’s got that thing that you always hope for when you find somebody new,” Gill told Radio.com. “A lot of people possess talent, but not something so unique. On top of that, you hear that voice, and then you hear the old soul with what she writes songs from, and that’s one deadly combination. It’s so rare.”
Gill likens Monroe to Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Alison Krauss.
“To me, she has the opportunity to have the same kind of impact Dolly Parton did and Emmylou did and Alison Krauss did and people like that, that really define a stretch of time with the songs that they come up with and find,” he said. “I always felt like somebody would come along and do again what some of these great women have done. Some of the things on Ashley’s record harken back to a Ray Price record or some of the great stuff that’s come before.”