Thursday, January 06, 2011

Spotlight Artist: Ashley Davis

Our next Spotlight Artist is singer Ashley Davis.
After studying traditional Irish music in Nashville and Ireland, the Kansas-raised singer Ashley Davis now calls New York home. Her songs blend Celtic influences with American folk music. Ashely answers our questions below. Thank you to our friend Christopher Deignan at the NY Irish Center for the introduction.

Spotlight Artist: Ashley Davis
How long have you been performing?
I began performing publicly when I was 15. My first gig was in the freezing cold on the back of a flat bed truck out on a trail ride!

How did you get involved in music?
I always loved music and it was a large part of our household; though not Irish music. We listened to a lot of '60s folk, opera, country and classic rock. It wasn't until I began singing country gigs that people began to comment on the "traditional" nature of my voice which forced me to take a closer look at my roots.

Musical influences:
Connie Dover, Joan Baez, Moya Brennan, James Taylor, Patsy Cline

Favorite venues to play:
Liberty Hall - Lawrence, KS
Joe's Pub - New York, NY
Dornan's - Jackson Hole, WY

Blatant self-promotion: What would you like to plug?
My latest album! You can now buy "Down By the Sea" through my website or on Itunes.
facebook: Ashley Davis fan page
Myspace: daisyrings
Other: Please sign up for my newsletter through my website!

Where can we buy your music?
All online dealers including Itunes, CD Baby and all albums directly through my website.

Tell us a story or anecdote about performing in NYC.

I recently performed at Connolly's for a benefit where Larry Kirwan and I did a rendition of the Pogues' "Fairytale of New York". (Seen in a video & blog by James Hannon)
That and opening up for Moya Brennan to a sold out crowd in NYC are certainly highlights!

Any advice to someone just starting out?
Your attitude is usually the first thing to go. When you lose that, then you lose your vision. Hold onto both and you'll eventually reach your goals.

Your CD "Down by the Sea" features some legendary Irish musicians, including Paddy Moloney (The Chieftans), Moya Brennan (the voice of Clannad), Joanie Madden (Cherish the Ladies) and Cathy Jordan (Dervish). How did that come about and what was it like working with them?
When I set out to record the album, I wrote out a list of people that I would like to record with and approached them! Paddy Moloney was a complete sweetheart and offered before I had to beg!
What are some highlights of your time spent on the Isle of Man.
It was an honor to do an artist in residency on the IOM. The music and people are wonderful and I cannot wait to return.

Can you recommend any other acts we should feature on MurphGuide?
Celtic Cross - they are a great young band that are very friendly. The lead singer is named Kathleen. She is very affable and friendly. Or Moya Brennan, she plays over in NYC about once a year.

Any big plans for 2011?
I just got word that "Down By the Sea" is now being featured on Aer Lingus flights, so that has been a great kick off to the new year. Many concerts ahead around the US and hopefully a good chunk of time in Ireland this summer to work on my Irish and play some gigs. I also need to write my next album...
You can catch Ashley Davis, along with Cormac De Barra, next week:
Saturday, January 15
New York Irish Center presents...

An evening with Ashley Davis
featuring world renowned harpist Cormac De Barra
There is an 80 seat limit
Tickets $32 each
includes free pre-show cocktail hour
Special Offer: $27 ticket if purchased in advance:
doors open 7pm, showtime 8pm
New York Irish Center
10-40 Jackson Ave.
Long Island City, Queens, NY
718 482-0909

Members of the NY Celtic Music Meetup Group and The Irish in NY Meetup Group will be in attendance. New members are welcome.

Below is a video of Ashley performing last April at The Irish Arts Center:

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