Texan songwriter Ash Gray returns with his second solo album Chicken Wire. Having relocated over the past decade from Austin to Sheffield via New York City, Ash is, in the truest sense, a troubadour, falling in with likeminded folk wherever he ends up.
Nowhere is this better exemplified than on Chicken Wire. Ash recruited friends from the Sheffield music scene to lay down the basic tracks, later inviting musicians from back home in Austin to add their own touch. Ash then collaborated with noted Austin producer Chris ‘Frenchie’ Smith (Meat Puppets, Datsuns, Dandy Warhols etc) on the final mix. The end result blends country and bluegrass with undertones of psych, rewriting the grand Austin tradition of the ‘cosmic cowboy’.
Speaking about the recording, Gray says, “The album represents a nice bridge that’s been developing between Sheffield and Austin in the three years that I’ve called Sheffield home. I met so many amazing musicians in Sheffield and have tightened connections with old and new acquaintances in Austin since I began working on these recordings and I was interested in trying to include everyone that I’d been playing with.”
Born and raised in the US, Ash began travelling to the UK at the end of the 90s, where he formed punkgrass outfit The High Class Family Butchers with future members of Menlo Park and Kings Of The South Seas, doing brisk business at the forefront of the London alt.country scene. Winding up in NYC, he took the guitar job in legendary biker band The Cycle Sluts From Hell, before forming the psych-pop ensemble Ash Gray & The Girls, releasing the acclaimed album Born In The Summer. Later retracing his Yorkshire roots, he finally released his debut solo album Once I Got Burned in 2014. Most recently he’s been helping facilitate the musical twinning of his hometown with the city of Angers in western France.
Chicken Wire is released on Friday 26 January.
“Ash has a penchant for a killer melody” Beat Surrender
“Convincing and effective” RnR
“Indie country with a blazing attitude” Maverick
“Without characters such as Ash Gray the music business would be the poorer”
American Roots UK