Ashley Jordan on What’s Great About Country

“I’m really real in my music.  I’m very honest and I just love to share stories.  That’s the great thing about country.  We’re not sugar-coating anything.  We’re into telling...

“I’m really real in my music.  I’m very honest and I just love to share stories.  That’s the great thing about country.  We’re not sugar-coating anything.  We’re into telling real stories and being down to Earth with things.  We’re like, ‘Let’s talk about it! Let’s sing about it!’ That’s what I love about country music.”

An exceptionally friendly and exceptionally emotive Ashley Jordan is telling me about her approach to music.  The Boston-based singer/songwriter has been making music professionally for about a decade now.  She’s won back-to-back Boston Music Awards for “Country Artist of the Year,” finished twice as a Top 10 finalist on NASH Next, and even received a first-round Grammy nomination in 2015 for her song “Angel.”  However, when I ask her about some of her biggest highlights, she let’s me know that it’s live performances that excite her most: “I would say a highlight was one of my first big experiences with a really large crowd, when I was opening MIXFest in Boston in front of 40,000 people in 2015 or 2016.  That was life-changing…  And then opening for Trace Adkins at Indian Ranch was so cool.”

Ashley Jordan is currently patiently awaiting the release of her fifth full-length, which has been completed for a while now.  The album is her first recorded in Nashville, a major milestone in the career of any Americana artist: “This one’s really big for me.  Right before COVID hit I had just finished recording my fifth album, my ’Nashville album.’  It’s a strong one for me, coming out with all the songs I had been working so hard on for so long, songs I feel so strongly about.”  She has already dropped a handful of singles from the album, including “One More Night,” “Gone Girl,” “Still Hear Him Talking,” and, most recently, “Angels & Demons,” which dropped just two weeks ago, along with an accompanying video.

The latest singles from Ashley Jordan combine classic Americana songwriting with the kind of sauce and gloss that make the stars of CMT famous.  When we discuss her influences, Ashley tells me that she certainly considers her musical tastes to be rather diverse: “I listen to all kinds of music.  I love Chris Stapleton and Miranda Lambert, but I also love stuff like KT Tunstall, Grace Potter, and James Taylor.  I grew up listening to old school folk music and then I got into country, but on the pop side, but I’m just a huge music fan in general.”

Apparently, the people who come to see Ashley Jordan tend to be rather diverse as well.  “It’s a whole different age group than I expected.  The cool thing about country music is that it appeals to a really wide range of ages, and some of the traditional people have given into the new wave of country,” she tells me.  Although there aren’t currently any area shows, Ashley has a handful of upcoming northeast dates on what she’s calling the Gone Girl Tour, which includes Ashley’s Birthday Livestream at 5pm EDT on July 14th.  She tells me that, for these shows, she’s trying to do something big and hopefully give you a healthy taste of her upcoming album: “I perform in a lot of different ways.  Sometimes I play solo, sometimes I play as a duo with my fiddle player, but for these dates I’ve been playing with my full band and doing foot-stomping country music jams.  I’ve tried to recreate the sound of the Nashville record.”

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During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.