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ASHLEY CAMPBELL —THE LONELY ONE (Humphead)

www.humpheadcountry.com

Multi-talented performer Ashley Campbell; musician, singer-songwriter and now, after getting a great deal on the road, first off it was playing in her father’s band, the late Glen Campbell. 

After he became too ill to go on the road, Ashley has been turning heads through her own endeavours, and with her forming indie pop-rock in a band formed with her brothers, Cal and Shannon, and then Instant People (indie folk, country) with Shannon; him playing guitar and her, banjo; an instrument on which she excels.   

Her debut album sees a number of sides from Ashley; as her prowess on banjo is backed by excellent lead vocals on the likes of the entertaining “Better Boyfriend”, and on following in the footsteps of the likes of Kacey Musgrave, Brandy Clark and Angaleena Presley you have the jump off the page “Looks Like Time” as Campbell injects healthy slice of humour, and with her showing a little attitude she looks set to be a winner. The well-balanced production has it all. 

The above come after, a tentative opener in Nashville mainstream song ‘A New Year”. While I do say, tentative in all honesty I should have said, cookie cutter style! Campbell is better than this, and goes on to prove on numerous occasions, although it does offer more commercial leaning influences there is a nice twist to the production. Not least due to innovative production and progressive use of banjo. A number of co-writers figure on the record and Campbell shows herself to be set for a fine, and entertaining career in music. Her ability to come up with music sufficiently different is one of the most pleasing aspects about her work.   

Scorching instrumental “Wish I Wanted To” (co-written with her role model, former sideman of her father, Carl Jackson that has Will Carter power forth on dobro and both Jackson and the great Bryan Sutton star on acoustic guitar) and infectious “What I’m Doing Here”, and “Good For You” and on easing into a more tender, wistful groove “Wish I Wanted To” (Campbell- Mike Daily) likewise is superb. The elegance of her vocals and general poise as the production is stripped down to Jackson’s acoustic guitar, harmony vocals and her own playing to go with Carter’s beautiful Dobro as her vocals are warmed by a sound made in heaven! Showing a little more urgency she picks a bluegrass-etched banjo on the spirited “How Do You Know” (written with her brothers, Shannon and Cal, plus Kiefo Nilsson).

Others include the interesting, bass, drums and brass-aided genre crossing “We Can’t Be Friends” and reflective “Nothing Day”; and like one of two songs around she sings about smoking a joint and getting a little too drunk in New Orleans and on the former she doesn’t share a joint with country icon Willie Nelson but one of his sons. 

              Maurice Hope     

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May 2018

1
John Prine
67 pts.
The Tree of Forgiveness
Oh Boy Records
JJC,MB,SP,RM
2
Levi Parham
58 pts.
It's All Good
Continental Records
CRS,JB,TK
3
Jeb Barry and the Pawn Shop Saints
55 pts.
Texas, etc...
DollyRocker
HDB,CVL,DHO
4
Michael McDermott
54 pts.
Out From Under
Continental Song City
JDO,LK,BK
5
Sam Morrow
48 pts.
Concrete and Mud
Forty Below Records
MA,JBO,HB
6
Caleb Caudle
39 pts.
Crushed Coins
Cornelius Chapel Records
 
7
Western Centuries
36 pts.
Songs From The Deluge
Free Dirt Records
MF
8
Carter Sampson
34 pts.
Lucky
Continental Song City
 
9
Charley Crockett
30 pts.
Lonesome as a Shadow
Son of Davy/30 Tigers
 
10
Courtney Marie Andrews
28 pts.
May Your Kindness Remain
Loose Music
JV
11
Ed Romanoff
27 pts.
The Orphan King
Pinerock Records
 
 
Joan Baez
27 pts.
Whistle Down The Wind
Proper Records
HD
 
Pharis and Jason Romero
27 pts.
Sweet Old Religion
Lula Records
SZ,LM
14
Gretchen Peters
24 pts.
Dancing With The Beast
Proper Records
KG
 
Old Crow Medicine Show
24 pts.
Volunteer
Columbia Records
GF
 
Will Stewart
24 pts.
County Seat
Cornelius Chapel Records
 
17
Ben Reel
22 pts.
Land Of Escape
B REEL Records
GC,FC
 
Birds Of Chicago
22 pts.
Love In Wartime
Signature Sounds
 
 
Emily Herring
22 pts.
Gliding
Eight 30 Records
RST,RH
20
Jenny van West
21 pts.
Happiness To Burn
Independent
PJ,FS,JJ
 
Mary Gauthier
21 pts.
Rifles And Rosary Beads
In the Black Records
 
22
Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
20 pts.
Years
Bloodshot Records
FCE
23
David Starr
19 pts.
South And East
Independent
HM
24
Cold Tone Harvest
18 pts.
After You
Independent
 
25
Grant Peeples
17 pts.
Settling Scores vol. 2
Continental

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