I think I’ve made it pretty clear over the past four years of writing Country’s Chatter, that I’m a huge, huge fan of traditional country music. It doesn’t get any better than Merle Haggard and “Always Wanting You”, “It’s Not Love,” and “If We Make it Through December”; or Lefty Frizzell doing “How Long Will it Take” and “I Love You Mostly.” But, I have to admit – Today’s ‘country’ music is winning me over, with artists like Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood, The Band Perry, and dozens of others who fall more into the musical category of ‘country/pop’ rather than ‘classic country’.
I have a group to add to my list of ‘country/pop’ artists that I think is absolutely up there with the best of them. This is another group who found me via Twitter. They started following me. They had their web site listed in their Twitter profile. I checked it out, I listened to the music, and I became an instant fan. The group is Ashton Lane.
The group is made up on lead singer, Esther O’Conner, her brother and her husband. They write all their own songs, and sometimes even co-write with Dad! (Graeme Duffin from legendary 80’s/90’s band ‘Wet Wet Wet’). Graeme and James also produced this new album “Magic In the Air”. [Info from their blog]
I know from their blog, that they have been to Nashville. Here’s what that said: “Esther O’Connor and her band Ashton Lane loved making their first visit to Nashville, they relished being stateside gigging and getting the gears in motion for the release of their new album, the band have been buried away deep in the recording studio for a few months writing and recording ‘Magic In The Air’. The sound of this new material has emerged somewhere between modern country and the great west coast singer-songwriter pop music of the 60’s and 70’s.”
I had the pleasure of reviewing their album today. It’s called “Magic in the Air,” and it definitely filled my office with magic. I was drawn into the music – from the first note of the first song, to the last word of the last song – you know, that last song … the one that made you go “oh my, is this great album over already!” And when it was over, I started it again. And, I think all of you are going to want to do the same thing.
It’s definitely time for the U.S. music industry, and U.S. country radio to open its doors and its airwaves to Ashton Lane. The kids are from Scotland, and I assume took that name since Ashton Lane is ‘a cobbled backstreet in the West End of Glasgow’. Right now, they have shows scheduled in places like Denmark, Germany, Norway and The Netherlands, distances a bit too far for me to travel to review a show. I say we import these kids! I’m very anxious to see them perform, and hoping it won’t be long before they show up on stage somewhere near me.
The album is really wonderful, and one I will be listening to over and over. Great vocals, nice, memorable original songs. There is nothing bad that I could say about this album. And apparently a lot of reviewers feel the same way. Find out what the press is saying about Ashton Lane, by clicking here.
Follow them on Twitter @ashtonlane; check out their facebook page, too. You will definitely want to visit their web site where you can listen to their music, and get a FREE 5-Pack EP. I hope, too, that you will visit their YouTube channel. Great music from this great group. Go ahead, run over and listen – then let me know what you think. Did you pick a favorite song yet? Hard to pick just one, isn’t it?
Hope you all enjoy your Saturday! We’ll be back with more news later.