Mike Sudhalter | September 19, 2007
From that country music hotbed of Lawrence, Kansas, a new artist has emerged - Ashley Ray.
She's a singer/songwriter with a folk/country feel and a healthy dose of twang. She recently released an EP on itunes last week.
The best AR song isn't on the EP. It's "Hurricanes", which uses the metaphor of someone breaking a heart to the damage caused by a hurricane.
I also like the ballad "A Good One To Leave On", of course referring to a road.
I'm looking forward to Ray's debut album, and hope she can make a contribution to quality country music. Plus, it's nice to Lawrence getting some attention for country - with Ray and Sarah Buxton. It's reputation, if you don't know, is mostly for alternative and indie rock.
One artist who's changed a great deal in the past decade is Deana Carter. She was a hitmaker in 1996 with her debut album, "Did I Shave My Legs For This", opening for stars like Alan Jackson.
On Oct. 9, Carter wll release "The Chain", which contains unique covers of songs like "On the Road Again", "Good Hearted Woman" and "Crying". Very interesting. Let's just say I never imagined "On the Road Again" as a slow ballad. Good stuff from one of the genre's most creative artists.