Ashley Wells

Ashley Wells

 Boston, Massachusetts, USA
SoloFolkCountry

Blending folk and country with style, Ashley Wells captivates audiences young and old alike with her soothing vocals and carefully crafted lyrics. In 2010 she released her debut album, “Mama’s Skirt,” which placed in the top 10 on the Folk DJ Charts its first month out. Susan Werner says, "Keep an eye on this young, sly Southern writer - she's one to watch."

Biography

Raised in South Carolina, just a few hours away from the Appalachian Mountains, classical musician turned singer/songwriter Ashley Wells has a sound that appeals to audiences old and young alike. Her soothing voice draws listeners in with its purity and gentle, charming Southern accent.

In 2010 she released her debut album, Mamas Skirt, to much success. The combination of her rich and captivating vocals, strong melodies, and insightful lyrics resulted in a record that Susan Werner has called timeless. Respected DJ and the founding host of Folk Alley, Jim Blum, took note as well saying, "Only a handful of young singers offer both spunk and sensibility. Ashley Wells is just getting started, and I would recommend following her career."

This recognition was affirmed by radio stations across the US when Mamas Skirt placed in the top 10 albums on the Folk DJ Charts its first month out. Listeners of FolkAlley.com echoed this enthusiasm, later voting the album into the site's Top CDs of 2010.

The album covers a variety of musical genres - folk, country, pop, rock, and blues - and shows off Ashley's versatile voice, which has been called "angelic, lilting, gorgeous and rich." Careful attention was given to each song to provide arrangements that would exemplify its character and style. The result is a sound that is easily accessible yet delightfully fresh.

"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.

The title song, Mamas Skirt, chronicles a personal history for Ashley, who has been writing songs since she was 14 but keeping quiet until recently. The song paints a poignant image of Ashley as a shy child hiding behind her mothers skirt and tells of her transformation into an empowered adult when courage pays her a visit with these words of wisdom: "staying safe ain't no way to grow."

Listeners, however, should not be fooled by this image of innocence. 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 Sinners Blues (a traditional blues tune that affectionately puts the heat on Christianity).

Although classically trained at an early age, singing was never the main focus of Ashley's musical training. Instead, she played the oboe in orchestras in college while earning her degree in music with plans of becoming a music theory professor. It was only after going abroad to study in Austria in order to benefit from its musical history that she found classical performances failed to meet her deep, inner need to interact with audiences. Craving a way to connect with audiences on a personal level, she declined her music scholarship and quit performing classical music entirely. Again she turned to what had always come naturally to her but had hitherto been a hidden hobby: singing and songwriting. Listening to Mama's Skirt, it is clear that Ashley Wells has indeed found her natural talents.

After releasing her debut album, Ashley relocated to Boston in 2011 to expand upon her opportunities as a rising folk artist. Within a few months of arriving, she quickly won the renown Lizard Lounge Open Mic Challenge and was opening for national acts such as Susan Werner. In addition, she has opened for #1 hit songwriter Rob Crosby, whose songs have been recorded by the likes of Martina McBride and Paul Simon.

Lyrics

Don't Wanna Remember

Written By: Ashley Wells

I don't wanna remember your smile in the morning
or that grin on your face at bedtime
I don't want to recall the times we made love on the floor
I don't wanna remember your lovin'
'Cause I can't have your lovin' no more

I don't wanna remember the way that you kissed me
in that old beat up truck that you drove
I don't want to remember the cologne that you wore
I don't wanna remember your lovin'
'Cause I can't have your lovin' no more

Now I can't remember just why we used to fight
But Lord the times we made up, they were awfully nice
And sometimes I get to thinkin' all we need's another try
But I don't wanna remember your lovin'
'Cause I can't have your love
No, I can't have your love anymore

Mama's Skirt

Written By: Ashley Wells

I followed her wherever she went
I clung to her as my defense
In the church pews and check out lines
It was Mama's skirt that I hid behind

Oooo, how I felt so safe
There in my hiding place
Oooo, never had to hurt
Hiding there behind my Mama's skirt

And in her shadow somehow I learned
God made girls to be seen but never heard
So I worked hard to not cause a scene
Holding back all my hopes and dreams

Oooo, how I felt so safe
There in my hiding place
Oooo, never had to hurt
Hiding there behind my Mama's skirt

One day Courage found me there
Weak, but willing, tired of feeling scared
"Listen, child, this one thing you should know:
Staying safe ain’t no way to grow”

Oooo, how I felt so safe
There in my hiding place
Oooo, never had to hurt
Hiding there behind my Mama's skirt

All Around

Written By: Ashley Wells

Like a baby’s cry or a moonlit sky
Like the air at night or a bird in flight
Like an answer when it's found
by a peace felt deep down
You’re all around
All around

Just like a smile, starting to show
Like the fleeting days that come and go
Like the roads in my hometown
or a faint, distant sound
You’re all around
All around

All Around
All Around

Like a warm embrace, a familiar face
Like a hidden path or love that lasts
Like a fire when it snows
or the way a sunset glows
You’re all around
All around

All around
All around
Always around

Until Then

Written By: Ashley Wells

I'm sure one day I'll see you again
And I'll have to look at those loving hands
I’ll look right in your bright, blue eyes
And tell ya that I’m doing just fine

But until then I don't have to pretend
That I’m not in love and I wouldn’t love to fall again
You don't make me cry
No, you don't make me sigh
Until then I don't have to lie

I’m sure we’ll grab a drink and reminisce
‘Bout the Blue Ridge Mountains and the first time we kissed
We’ll talk about how much we’ve both changed
But never say that we still feel the same

But until then I don't have to pretend
That I’m not in love and I wouldn’t love to fall again
You don't make me cry
No, you don't make me sigh
Until then I don't have to lie

I'm sure one day the world will turn again
I’ll get over you, and there’ll be other men
And who knows? I might take someone's name
But inside I know it could never be the same

But until then I don't have to pretend
That I’m not in love and I wouldn’t love to fall again
You don't make me cry
No, you don't make me sigh
Until then I don't have to lie

No, you don't make me cry
You don't make me sigh
Until then I don't have to lie

Sinner's Blues

Written By: Ashley Wells

Can I love the Lord and love rock ‘n’ roll?
I said can I love the Lord and still love rock ‘n’ roll?
And can I keep on sinnin’ and still be whole?

Can I cut a joke and be born again?
I said can I cut a joke and still be born again?
And will He really might it if I just show a little skin?

‘Cause they say that He wants me just as soiled as I am
But if I get too dirty I’m liable to be damned

So I walk that line between Heaven and Hell
I said I walk that line between Heaven and Hell
Sometimes I got it mastered; other times I can’t tell.
Sometimes I got it mastered; other times I can’t tell.

Love and Peanut Butter

Written By: Ashley Wells

I came home yesterday with stars in my eyes
My mama sat down to listen with a sigh
I told her I found a love that was true
She looked and me and said, “What do you plan to do?”

I said we're gonna live on love and peanut butter
We're gonna go off and see just what we can discover

Mama knows we're both quite mad
See, neither of us have jobs or ever had
So she wonders 'bout the smiles we raise
Where we'll live and how the bills will be paid

I said we're gonna live on love and peanut butter
We're gonna go off and see just what we can discover

She says it sounds like a sticky situation
livin' life like you're on vacation
Money don't grow on trees
You can't keep on livin' just as you please

But I wanna live on love and peanut butter
I'm sure it'll be just fine one way or the other

I know she doesn't want to see us get in a jam
So I let her talk, smile, say yes ma'am
But who needs money when we got each other?
Long as we got love and lots of peanut butter

Discography

Mama's Skirt (2010 Album)

Set List

Typical songs include:

Originals (in no particular order):
Don't Wanna Remember
Mama's Skirt
Until Then
Powerless
All Around
Angels Above
Sinner's Blues
Love & Peanut Butter
Mother's Day
Creepy Old Men

Examples of Covers (in no particular order):
The Boxer - Simon & Garfunkel
Sorrowful Angels - Patty Loveless
Stolen Car - Bruce Springsteen
Dancing - Grace Pettis
I'll Fly Away - Albert Brumley
Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain - Willie Nelson
You Don't Even Know Who I Am - Gretchen Peters
Crazy - Patsy Cline

Originals & Covers are mixed together in order to keep interest.

NOTE:  Depending on the atmosphere & venue, jazz standards may also be performed.examples include:  Autumn Leaves, The Nearness of You, The Girl from Ipanema, etc.