Ascella Vega
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Ascella Vega

Band Rock Alternative


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Editor's Pick and Choice Cuts for July 2008"

There are two basic models for how the modern pop-rock band comes together: either through seasoned road veterans hand-picking their peers for their reputed chops, or through the synergy of old friends turning the love of music that brought them together as youths into a sound that just naturally represents them all. Ascella Vega is emblematic of the latter model.

The five members of this North Carolina-based unit all went to Broughton High School in Raleigh together. They still haven't strayed far from each other during their college years. Three of them attend North Carolina State and the other two are at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. It was a classic case of a group of buddies sharing the bond of listening to records, learning various instruments, discussing ideas and then plunging in as professional performers.

"We all bring ideas to the table," says guitarist Gray Henderson. "Classic rock and blues-rock are our common ground, but we each have our own inclinations, too." Drummer Reaves Greer, for instance, went through an intensive jazz period, which left greats both old-school and modern, from Buddy Rich to Jack DeJohnette, among his influences. Bassist Mark Voller, originally a drummer, gravitated to string instruments via a passion for bluegrass.

This makes the songs truly collaborative efforts. "I couldn't complete a musical thought by myself," says Greer.

The band's name was a circuitous bit of inspiration. "One day, [guitarist] Ryan [Wooten] and I were looking through the astronomy section of a dictionary," says Henderson. "We found out that Ascella is in the Sagittarius constellation, and that Vega is the fourth-brightest star in the sky."

Since embarking in earnest on a collective career, they have decided that gigs specifically geared toward the performance of cover songs fits into their overall strategy. They perform cover sets at fraternity and sorority parties, and do shows focused on their own material at general-public venues. Not only does this ensure an income from music, but it provides two arenas in which they can build the recognition factor.

The members still take an unassuming attitude toward that increased recognition. Greer, for example, says, "It's kind of weird when people come up and say, 'I think I know you, I think I've seen you play.'"

Learning and performing a wide array of types of rock has imparted a universality to their sound. On their debut EP, one hears a variety of textures and rhythms evoking various periods and genres. Perhaps most noteworthy in this respect is the introduction to "Where You Want To Be," which suggests everything from Phil Spector's Wall of Sound to 80s arena rock. "We wanted it to be synth-y and epic-sounding," says Henderson. Lead singer Adam Newsom's strong tenor-alto range pays subtle nods to many great vocalists without ever sounding derivative.

The album was cut at Studio 313 in Morrisville, North Carolina, in the last half of 2007. "Bongo John" Metcalf was the engineer on the project.

Their collective commitment to the possibilities for the band is a testament to the strength of their bond. They have all agreed to give two years after college to seeing how far they can take Ascella Vega.

So far, they haven't played outside North Carolina, but they are laying the groundwork for such a move. "Bright Future" and "House on a Hill" from the EP appear on a compilation disc that Platform One Entertainment, a marketing company, is distributing to college campuses around the country.

Greer sums up the democratic attitude that has made their building momentum possible: "We've grown past being protective of our individual creative turf. We welcome everybody's input. I know that anybody's idea for a song is going to really enhance it."

By Barney Quick -

"Deep South Local Music Review"

Before the March release of "Put It In Motion," this band said hopes for the success of their debut EP were "as high as the stars Ascella and Vega." Only a month after its release, two of their songs – “Bright Future” and “House on a Hill” – have already been chosen for a compilation CD that will be distributed to over 100 college campuses nationwide. Ascella Vega’s unique blend of rock, pop, jazz and experimental sounds portrays the varied influences recognized in each member of the band.

The five-member band from Raleigh, including Adam Newson (vocals/keyboards), Gray Henderson (guitar/vocals), Reaves Greer (drums/percussion), Mark Voller (bass), and Ryan Wooten (guitar/vocals), formed in 2005. Last fall, they headed to Morrisville and hit the studio. The end result was “Put It In Motion,” which was released on March 26. In the next few months, it will be available on iTunes.

Perhaps you caught them April 26 in Moore Square at the Raleigh World Beer Festival, known for its tradition of featuring only the best local music. Or maybe performing with the Pat McGee Band at Lincoln Theatre a few weeks prior? Wooten, a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill, also lent the band’s talent to the University’s Kind of Blue project, which raises money for Raleigh’s Community Music School.

If you’re a fan of The Black Crowes, The Killers and Foo Fighters, you’ll be a fan of Ascella Vega. And even if those acts don’t make it onto your list of favorites, Ascella Vega is certainly worth a listen. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be talking about them! - RaleighDowntowner

"Ascella Vega @ Memorial Hall—8:00pm Saturday, February 7th"

In late August, I found myself wandering through another Friday night when my ears caught a glimpse of a song too familiar to be true, though the acoustics were oddly distorted-to the extent that I questioned my own hearing.

But there it was again, louder, and I had no trouble recognizing “Good Times Bad Times”–the Led Zeppelin classic. Turning around, I realized the sound wasn’t coming from anywhere around me-it was in fact coming from somewhere beneath me, causing the distortion. Naively I pursued it, pushing through people, stairs, more people, and into a basement where, sure enough, I found the source-a band you may be familiar with, Ascella Vega.After seeing them at The Library and at Lincoln Theatre in the ensuing weeks it became apparent that the covers they played the first night I heard them were only back-ups for their original material.

Self described as “Indie/Rock/Alternative”; Ascella Vega is comprised of a mix of Chapel Hill and NC State students– Adam Newson (lead vocals/keyboards), Gray Henderson (guitar/vocals), Reaves Greer (drums/percussion), Mark Voller (bass), and Ryan Wooten (guitar/vocals). After forming in 2005, Ascella Vega began making recordings in both Raleigh, NC and Nashville, TN to send to venues around North Carolina. In the fall of 2007, the band began recording in Morrisville, NC and released their debut EP, “Put It In Motion” on March 26, 2008.
Their sound ranges from heavy chorded-out rock as in the chorus of the title track “Put It in Motion” and introduction of “House On a Hill”, to the near blues/rock of “Contradiction”, to the bright and clear piano intro and vocal harmonies of “Bright Future”. Two Baltimore bands, the contemporary “Brickfoot” and the much older group “Crack the Sky” can be heard as cousins of Ascella Vega’s sound.
Ascella Vega is now gearing up for their Saturday performance at Memorial Hall, the proceeds from which will go to Prevent Child Abuse America and to the Center for Child and Family Health. Playing at Memorial Hall offers a unique opportunity to the band. In the words of lead guitarist Ryan Wooten: “We are excited to play a show in such a renowned venue. Memorial Hall has such a rich history; we are honored to become a part of its performing alumni.”

Almost all their songs off of “Put It in Motion” are available for listening at their website (, and more information about the band can be found there as well. Tickets for the show can be bought at the door.

-Reed Turchi - Vinyl Press

"Student rockers take stage"

Ascella Vega started as a typical high school band. But the group stuck together through college, and this weekend will get the chance to take a big stage.

The group, a rock band composed of five UNC and N.C. State University students, will perform Saturday night at Memorial Hall.

Ryan Wooten, a UNC senior, plays guitar and performs backup vocals for the band. He said the band felt privileged to perform at the well-known venue.

“We saw Ben Folds there,” Wooten said. “To become a part of that legacy, we are honored.”

Since forming in 2005, the band has built a strong identity and fan base while dealing with the rigors of attending college.

The astrological name was dreamed up by Wooten and N.C. State senior Gray Henderson. Henderson plays guitar and contributes backup vocals for the band.

N.C. State senior and drummer Reaves Greer said he thinks the name means something more now. Greer said the name makes him think of “some of my best friends.”

Ascella Vega claims influences from classic rock bands such as Led Zeppelin but emphasizes that the band’s sound is constantly evolving.

“We like organic sounds,” said Mark Voller, bassist for the band.

Fans appreciate this.

UNC first-year Reed Turchi said he likes the polished sound of the band and the fact that “they don’t over-distort.”

A commitment to these instinctive organic sounds is central to the band’s identity.

In 2006 the band recorded in Nashville and was told that they should make some changes — like shortening their songs — to gain broader appeal.

Lead singer and N.C. State senior Adam Newson said the band decided to take all advice with “a grain of salt.”

Band members said it has no formula for its songwriting, with each member approaching it differently.

“All of us know exactly when something’s right,” Greer said.

The band performs covers and original songs but tends to play covers — which tend to be crowd pleasers — more frequently at college shows and more original songs at other venues.

The band started out playing at a lot of fraternities and sororities, and later began playing at local festivals. Chi Phi fraternity is presenting Saturday’s show.

“The more stuff they write the better it gets,” said UNC senior Mac Stewart, who has been to at least 15 of their shows.

Lauren Ellis, a junior at UNC, has been a fan of the band since high school and is impressed by the members’ dedication.

“I really respect how hard they work,” Ellis said.

While they’ve performed at other notable venues like Raleigh’s Lincoln Theatre, Saturday’s Memorial Hall show is going to be different.

Saturday’s show will include new covers and original songs as well as some surprises.

It will be the largest venue they’ve played. They also will include horns and a female vocalist for the first time.

“If you like music, you’ll enjoy it,” Newson said.

- Molly Gaither, Staff Writer - The Daily Tar Heel

"Indie-Music Magazine Editor's Pick for May 2008"

Superior songs, performances, and production! - Indie-Music


Put It In Motion EP



The North Carolina based band Ascella Vega consists of Adam Newson (vocals/keyboards), Gray Henderson (guitar/vocals), Reaves Greer (drums/percussion), Mark Voller (bass), and Ryan Wooten (guitar/vocals). After forming in 2005, Ascella Vega began making rough recordings in both Raleigh, NC and Nashville, TN to send to venues around North Carolina. After playing numerous shows, various college parties and winning a few local battle of the bands, they decided it was time to make their first CD. In the fall of 2007, with hopes as high as the stars Ascella and Vega, the band began recording in Morrisville, NC and released their debut EP, "Put It In Motion" on March 26, 2008.