Ashley Wells – Mama’s Skirt
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Biography
Raised in the South, classical musician turned singer/songwriter Ashley Wells has a sound that appeals to audiences both young and old alike. Her smooth voice & carefully crafted lyrics draw listeners in for an intimate listening experience. Audiences agree that her voice is captivating, repeatedly comparing her to Norah Jones, Natalie Merchant, Joni Mitchell, and Jewel.

2010 marks her debut in the music industry with the release of the album Mama’s Skirt. The title track chronicles a personal history for Ashley, who has been writing songs since she was 14 but keeping quiet until now.

Prior to her singing career, Ashley studied classical music exclusively, beginning at age 5 with the piano and progressing later to the saxophone and oboe. In college, she played the oboe in orchestras while earning her degree in music with plans of becoming a music theory professor.

Songwriting, however, remained a hidden hobby until her senior year of college, when she returned to the U.S. after spending a semester in Austria to benefit from its musical history. Burnt out from the rigor, she declined her music scholarship and quit performing classical music entirely.

With less pressure and more time on her hands, she brought her guitar into the dorm and soon slipped back into her old habit of singing and songwriting. A friend introduced her to Joni Mitchell’s album “Blue,” and the rest is history. After graduating, she sold her oboe to help pay for her first full-length album.

Mama’s Skirt is the culmination of two years of collaboration with Co-Producer and Sound Engineer Kenny McWilliams of Archer Avenue Studio. Careful attention was given to each song to provide arrangements that would exemplify its character and style. The music covers a variety of musical genres - folk, country, rock, pop, blues, and even hints of reggae (“Love & Peanut Butter”) – and shows off Ashley’s versatile voice, which has been called “angelic,” “lilting,” “gorgeous and rich." Beneath this pure voice is a cunning attitude that sneaks through in songs such as “There You’ll Be” (an unforgiving look at ineffective pursuits of happiness) and “Sinner’s Blues” (a traditional blues tune that affectionately puts the heat on Christianity).

The songs showcase Ashley’s knack for writing catchy tunes with strong melodies and evocative, clever lyrics that have been striking chords with listeners, regardless of age.

“I knew I had something when my 9-year-old guitar student was begging to learn one of my songs, and at the same time 80-year-olds were grinning from ear to ear in delight,” she says.
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  • Members:
  • Sounds Like:
    Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, Joan Baez, Norah Jones, Natalie Merchant, Jewel, Sarah McLachlan
  • Influences:
    Joni Mitchell, Diana Krall, Patty Griffin
  • AirPlay Direct Member Since:
    06/17/10
  • Profile Last Updated:
    09/17/11 01:38:18
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