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The best kept secret in music


"Space Junkies Magazine"

A striking album cover blending the changing times of horse drawn carriages to the modern automotive era to a clock on the back cover, all seeming to tie in with the albums title "Real Time." Ashland, a band that blends in a bit of an old style with a new sound conforming to the binds of soft rock. Some of the more upbeat tracks remind me of Placebo, especially the vocal style. I was overly impressed with the guitars and drums. Ashland, has a nice soft rock beat to their music that really captures different feelings and emotions throughout the album, from happiness to sadness, its all there for the taking! There's a few other elements within this album that bend out of the soft rock style and take on more of a harder edge, but never strays too far from the ballad vocal style. A very good album, Ashland seems to have a lot of potential and influences to become appealing to more than just underground music fans.

Rating: 7.5/10 Space Junkies

- Wednesday Elektra

"West Coast Performer"

From MTV's “Undressed” series to exciting live shows on's national tour and at Seattle's highest-profile clubs, Ashland's progressive rock and roll songs have helped the band win fans in a wide-variety of age-groups for the past several years. Though most frequently compared to Canadian superstars Rush, Ashland's complex arrangements, stellar musicianship, and thought-provoking lyrics stand on their own; breathing fresh air into the face of the stale rock world. The Pacific Northwest band's third independently-released album, Real Time, features more of what fans have come to expect from these exceptional musicians: Radio-friendly songs without forsaking the listenability of the entire 10-song effort. The band's original lineup is still intact and features Chad McMurray (bass and vocals), Dean Katona (drums and percussion), Kevin Brooks (guitars), and Wayne Tapia (guitars and backing vocals). Ashland's music has received airplay on both college and corporate radio stations throughout the Northwest, as well as several other countries. The band has performed live on several television shows and at several of the area's largest festivals. If corporate radio would ever get off its collective behind and play some real music that challenges people, Ashland would stand front and center, riding a red magic carpet all the way to the top of the charts. Until that day comes, however, the band has to be content with a solid fan base that lives for their favorite progressive rock band.
- Kathleen True

"3:16 Productions"

Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, progressive rockers Ashland return with their latest 10 track release REAL TIME. While their precise brand of rock may lend to strings of yawns and groans, Ashland sacrifices showmanship for melody and never seem to go overboard on their virtuosity for the sake of their crisp songwriting ("Mysteries") and expert performance. Falling somewhere between Toto and Dream Theater, this talented quartet has a certain aura about them that isn't haunting or dark, but definitively moody ("Slipping Away"). Overpowering the soul rather than the ears ("Time For A Change"), Ashland's latest release is like a tide rolling over the beach at night, meshing grace with an underscored sense of power. (

- Mike SOS

"Progressive Pages"

When I first heard the Ashland Mini CD "Yin & Yang" in 1998, I couldn't help think of Rush. The band was definitely under "The Rush Influence" while at the same time also being able to build on a very idiosyncratic sound and grittier style. However, the band's new album "Real Time" proves once and for all that Ashland are a force to be reckoned with, Rush influences are a thing of the past and the album displays a style unique to the band. Ashland have evolved into a group that play catchy but never simple music. The heaviness of "Yin and Yang" has be substituted by extravagant guitar work und intelligent -even jazzy - song structures, the drumming is extremely tight and performed with intense virtuosity. The only thing that one has to get used to is the vocal style, which is a little on the "high" side. The opening track "Time Piece" is easily accessible but also documents the progress the band have undergone: the track builds on lovely melodies and passionate arrangements that never get boring. Breaks and different passages make sure that the song stays fresh and interesting. "Touched" is a wonderful ballad dominated by an acoustic guitar. "Slipping away" is also a quieter track which features vocal lines and guitar interludes that succeed in covering the brazen beat. "Yin and Yang" is a peculiar mixture of punk and jazzy basslines while "Fallen" yet again builds on the lovely tonality of an acoustic guitar, then evolves to become one of the strongest tracks on the album, with tight drumming and heavy guitars. "Mysteries" is also a strong candidate with its emotional melodies and close harmonies."Mysteries" is followed by the ballad "Time for a Change" which features pleasant vocals and percussive drumming...wonderful. The best song on the album is "Hit N Go": very jazzy, interesting breaks and instrumental passages combine to create an explosive mixture. Clocking at over 6 minutes, Hit N Go is a great track that exemplifies the prowess of the band. "Channel 9900" takes us back in time to the origins of the band: Rush influences can still be heard but are never really in the way, since the band has developed the ability to build on their influences, to use them to create their own, unique style.. October Bleed is a befitting end to the album: acoustic guitars and wonderful vocals invite the listener to drift away. Ashland have developed their own style, a fact that no other song exemplifies better than "Hit-N-Go" which is the definite highlight of the album. The tight and varied drumming contributes to the positive picture and the songs, which combine complex and melodic elements, ensure that the album will appeal to a broad audience.. This band is worth checking out!!

- Thorsten Gürntke


Ashland EP' (mp3 samples available on website)
Yin and Yang EP' (mp3 samples available on website)
Real Time Full Length CD ((mp3 samples available on website)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Ashland has been very busy over the last 2 years from having their song “Mysteries” played on MTV’s Undressed in 2000 to showcasing at Parker’s in Seattle as part of’s national tour. Ashland’s popularity has been growing from performances at such fairs and festivals like the Evergreen State Fair and Apple Blossom (Wenatchee, WA) to such Seattle club icons as “The Central”, “Fenix”, “Graceland” (a.k.a The Offramp). Ashland has reached audiences via college and corporate radio through out the Pacific Northwest, local cable shows such as KBTC’s This Ain’t Karaoke and Fog City Productions AT&T cable show “Rising Stars”. Ashland has also been making a splash in the international markets, with airplay and reviews in the Netherlands, Brazil, Germany, United Kingdom, Russia and the U.S.. "The music, with its varied tempos, harmonies and dynamics, is equally well thought out" --Stephanie Simonson (Tacoma News Tribune). "But wait, did I say another prog/metal band? How about the best prog/metal band I've heard in a long time."--Mojo's Metal Monsters & Music Masters. “With rolling drums and some fairly gentle guitar work, before once again being caught up and carried along by a powerful punchy bass line, this song contains some really nice harmonies provided by backing vocals.”--New Horizons

CD’s are currently available in select local music stores, the Ashland website, and a handful of online retailers.