Phoenix, Arizona born Tommy Ash is one of the women that continues to impress the hell out of me with her stark country vocals. It’s her defiant non-conformity attitude that has allowed her to continue her rise in recognition and respect among some of the top names in true country music. Instead of following the pack in Nashville, she took a hard left and is determined to keep the old fashioned twang alive. Earlier this summer she released a series of live session videos that show off her stage presence and some highly anticipated new material.
Donning her signature white cowgirl hat and blue pant suit, new comers to Ms Tommy Ash’s music will quickly realize they are not about to get their ears blasted to some run of the mill mainstream pop country. Nope, not a chance. This is a true 5 piece band ladies and gentlemen that is a student of 3 chords and the truth.
With this well executed live session series, we get treated to Ash’s hit, Sinner’s Blood off her 2013 same titled album as well as new songs Lost It All, Keeping the House, and Ain’t Cha Mama. All these songs feature the bright twang of the Telecaster and Tommy’s upbeat vocals. The high energy that the band gives off is nothing short of impressive and it’s the type of music that hits me in all the right ways. The rockin’ Ain’t Cha Mama is downright spectacular and how about those pedal steel and telecaster solos? That is exactly what country music is all about right there.
Having recently read an article about Kelsey Ballerini and her style of music she stated her influences and walking the line of pop and “country” music:
My first single to country radio was “Love Me Like You Mean It,” and it was very, very pop-leaning, but it was still rooted in country. I tell everyone: I grew up on a farm in east Tennessee, and my first concert was Britney Spears. That’s my music, and that’s me. I feel like country artists are known for being honest and truthful. And I just feel like it’s my job as a country artist now to be honest about the fact that I love pop music and I love rap music and I love rock music, and I think it’s okay if all that bleeds into my music as influences. It’ll always be rooted in songwriting, and it’ll always be rooted in the Southern lifestyle that I grew up in. But, yes, this record is on that line, because I just don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.
My beef with this is the blatant disregard for what country music is as a genre. The bull crap citing of “country music has always been honest and open to trying things” is despicable to me. It’s not he first time I’ve heard it and it definitely won’t be the last. This is not the same as what Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings did all those years ago. Artists like Tommy Ash, especially female talent, should be given the opportunity at the higher level to spread their songs. When we have talent like Tommy Ash, Margo Price, Holly Williams, Angaleena Presley, and the like that can’t get big time radio play, but we have pop singers taking over, I see something very wrong with that.
In the meantime, it’s important to support artists buy buying their music and merch to help spread the word. I’m sure after watching this live session series, you will do just that. This new album is going to be a big deal when it releases if these songs are any indication of what’s in store for us.
Just a Massachusetts guy supporting Texas and other independent country/Americana artists.
Check out my spotify for good tunes!