I do not even know where to start with this one. I’ve been following a great singer on Twitter for a while now, have visited her MySpace page, and listened to her music, but I’ve never written about her. Her name is Ashley Ray. Her music is country. Without a doubt – her music is country.
The songs she sings could have been done by any of the greatest country singers you can think of – and I’m going back a while here. I’m talking about people like Loretta, Dottie and Tammy. Ashley sings that kind of country. And she sings it well. I am sure, you will never hear any of Ashley’s music on pop radio stations. And I think that’s a good thing.
I got a short e-mail letting me know that Ashley will be releasing a new digital single on Nov. 24 to digital retailers. The track, “Dirt Cheap,” features Ashley singing with Mike Eli, from Eli Young Band. You can listen to the song on Ashley’s MySpace page.
Now, you all know how great that band is, and how much I like them. You’d have to, especially if you read the review of their show that I put up last August. (In you missed it, you can read it here – we have lots of show pictures, too).
Ashley grew up outside Lawrence, Kan., on a farm so remote the options for getting in trouble were pretty limited. “I couldn’t sneak out,” she laughs. “My parents would hear me drive away. i was in the country.” So when the elementary school sent home a notice about guitar lessons, it seemed like a decent diversion from back-roads life, and Ashley showed up at her first lesson with a “$50 cheap guitar from a pawn shop,” determined to learn. “I honestly don’t know what made me want to di it,” she said. “No one else in my family plays an instrument. But my mom tells me I used to sit by the stereo when I was 3, and put my head up against the speaker. Music was always on in our house. I was everything.”
That paragraph is the first one in this singer’s bio. She’s come a very long way from the farm in Kansas to the the city streets of Nashville, and after having shared a stage with Dierks Bentley, Miranda Lambert and Cross Canadian Ragweed, in addition to a 40-city tour with Eric Church, I’d say we definitely have a lot to look forward to coming from Ashley Ray.
Ashley said she writes because she “wants to get it out.” And, she added, “If I were really wanting to make money and live in a big ol’ fancy house, I would have gone to medical school or something, But music is what I have to do. It’s air to me. There’s no backup plan.”
Everyone who has been reading Country’s Chatter for a long time knows that I am a huge supporter of The American Cancer Society. And, Ashley also supports cancer research with her work with the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Ashley was involved in a in the Walk for a Cure this past October in Nashville. Her team name is A Ray of Hope. Her mom is a cancer survivor. Here’s a video of her explaining a little about the Walk for a Cure, and why she walks.
Remember her digital single on Nov. 24, and check her MySpace page for a schedule of shows. She’s mostly in Texas and Colorado right now, but I have a feeling it won’t be long until we’re seeing her all over the place! Let me know what you guys think of this great new artist.
I better run – talk to you all a little later!