Charles Ashley Moore
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Charles Ashley Moore


Band Folk Acoustic


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""Dirt Road Rock". Is it an album title or a genre?"

Hailing from Georgia, Charles Ashley Moore claims to have created his own genre of music which he calls 'Dirt Road Rock', although I'm not sure where the rock comes into it or indeed where this dirt road is supposed to be. On opening the package in front of me and sliding the CD out of its slip-cover this Bluesbunny is pleasantly surprised to find a CD label which looks like a good old fashioned Vinyl LP, complete with faux grooves - a nice touch, and a sign that the artist actually cares about what he's doing!

The first thing that grabs at the ol' Bunny ears is Charles' voice, all at once it's rough and whiskey soaked and yet has indefinable sweet qualities that are accentuated by the clear and well balanced tone of the acoustic guitar. No slouch at the guitar either, Charles even manages to drop solos into a handful of the tunes; no mean feat when there are no other instruments on the track.

The songs themselves would be great chill out music for a relaxing summer afternoon, with the breathy harmonica and a laid-back descending chord sequence of "Blind Me" reminding me of lying back on a boat floating down that lazy river. "Live Your Dream" has a great lyrical chorus matching perfectly the bouncing rhythm of the finger picked guitar. "Freedom Is a God Given Right" embraces Charles' soulful side with a beautiful call and response between the multitracked vocals in the chorus. The downside to the CD is its lack of variety. As well presented as the music is, and not forgetting Charles' amazing sandpaper and chocolate voice, the one voice/one guitar formula wears thin over the course of the album. Although the songs are memorable and well written enough in themselves, the lack of peaks and troughs makes the CD, as a whole, a bit repetitive.

Those objections aside, this CD is one of the better albums to be placed in my CD player. You should check it out if you like your acoustic music chilled out and on a jazz/soul trip. - The Bluesbunny

"The romance and spookiness of a rambling lifestyle shimmer within the lonely echo of that guitar..."

Moore is your traditional singer/songwriter musician with humble instrumentation and honest lyrics. Album opener "Sunflower" is a swaying pop-jazz song that leaves space between chords for Moore's warm, John Mayer-like voice. He also owns a subtle southern twang that surfaces on nearly every track but perhaps most poignantly in "Blue, Blue Bridge."

Moore avoids studio tricks, playing some intricate licks and fills between his chords that could easily have been overdubbed on top of a rhythm track but instead are left alone, unadorned and strong and carrying the song. Even when guitar soloing, Moore opts to leave his one acoustic as the only instrument on the track. This stripped down aesthetic renders some perhaps typical pop-acoustic songs into interestingly vulnerable pieces of music. Moore calls this approach "Dirt Road Rock." The imagery of this expression comes through most glaringly in "The Plow," "Walking Tall" and "Live Your Dream," where the romance and spookiness of a rambling lifestyle shimmer within the lonely echo of that guitar. "The Plow" is a slow and sexy, Southern folk track that grooves over snappy acoustic licks and is highlighted by Moore's unafraid, sometimes cracking vocal performance. This track is Moore at his best, a catchy acoustic song that doesn't give over to a radio friendly sound while still having undeniably listenable elements.

"Modern Slavery" offers highly pensive and delicate lyrics that demonstrate why a long, careful evolution from notebook doodling to album recording. Not every song on the album is entirely authentic but the success of songs like "The Plow" and "Live Your Dream" show great potential for a sophomore effort. Keep walking that dirt road, Charley. - Southeast Performer

"A raspy voice that has potential"

Charles Ashley Moore introduces himself by saying, “I’m a damn fine songwriter across multiple genres…I can’t believe I’m not rich and famous.” I hear ya’, Brother. With some balls like that, how could I not review him? From what I have heard on his song, “Sunflower”, he has a raspy voice that has potential.

Moore’s people have been in Georgia since the late 18th century, when George Washington gave his family land as script during the Revolutionary War. He is a U of Georgia grad and lives in Athens. He counts as his influences Blind Willie McTell, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Willie Johnson, Jimmie Rodgers, The Carter Family, Fiddlin' John Carson, Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clarke, Jerry Jeff Walker, Waylon & Willie & the Boys, Allman Bros., Lynyrd Skynyrd, Derek Trucks Band, James Brown, Buddy Miles, Al Green, Otis Redding, Big Joe Turner, Ray Charles, Percy Sledge, Wilson Pickett, Willie Neal Johnson and the New Key Notes. - Southern Fried Magazine


Charles Ashley Moore - eponymous debut (Release Date: September 8, 2007)
All 15 songs can be freely streamed at:



I became the founder of Dirt Road Rock way back in the 20th century while trudging barefoot in overalls down a red dirt road in Washington County, Georgia. I was stumbling along, whistling “Dixie,” just minding my own Southern business when some miserable son of a redneck mother in a ’57 GMC pickup truck rode by and chucked a half-empty can of Falstaff beer at me. My natural response was to reach for the nearest rock to throw back. So I stooped and groped, but the nearest rock turned out to be a two-ton chunk of solid tombstone granite glittering in the ditch.

I had to pause. It was about midday during one of those sweltering July droughts, and I soon realized that this beer tossing incident wasn’t the calculated hate crime I’d initially suspected, but was rather a genuine display of old-time Southern hospitality. I mean, I was mighty thirsty out there in that dusty old dust, and the boy in the goat-laden pickup could see that. My blessed beer can was half-full, not half-empty. So I sat down on that two-ton rock intending to sip and rest a while.

But before I could put the filthy can to my lips, I perceived in the mind-melting heat that I began to experience a Confederate Hallucination, or what certain nomads from the Middle East call a Brave Iraqi Mirage. The sky grew dark, that old rock commenced to humming a tune from the B-side of “James Brown Live at the Apollo,” and I saw famed Apollo descending from Olympus with a banjo on his knee. (For those of you who drive a ’57 GMC pickup truck, Apollo is the Greek god of music and Olympus is not a beer made with pure artesian water.)

I gazed down at that mystical dirt road rock. It was so hypnotically bright, beautiful, and altar-like that it took my mind clean off my thirst and caused me to kneel beside it and pour out my warm libation as a drink offering to the gods. At that point, there was an explosion of light and sound akin to Jimi Hendrix kindling a flame on his Stratocaster, and Apollo himself stood before me. He handed me his beat-up old banjo (which he called the Liar of Herpes or some such silliness) and commanded me to start singing “Dirt Road Rock” all over America. Needless to say, I complied.

For over ten years I traveled and sang Dirt Road Rock. I met thousands of happy drunk supporters, hundreds of ornery drunk detractors, and scores of generous drunk young ladies along the way. I was whoring it up all tough and prodigal-like until one sultry evening I passed again through the land of my nativity and decided to stop off and pay my respects to the big rock that started it all. Much to my surprise, just as I was about to spill a few drops of Pabst Blue Ribbon on the slab, I heard that rock humming “Amazing Grace.” I looked up, and lo and behold, a figure descending upon the clouds! But this time it was not Apollo. It turned out to be Jim and Tammy Baker, both high as kites and laughing together about being so filthy rich.

I said to Tammy, “Damn, woman! What a despicable excess of eye shadow you have on,” to which she replied that she agreed. “Indeed,” said she, “My eye shadow is so heavy and my mascara so thick that I am blind as Ray Charles and have never seen the light. Do not be like me; rather, follow Jesus.” In course of conversation I realized that God had sent Jim & Tammy to commission me to sing Dirt Road Gospel music to the world. They told me never to listen to anything else they had to say and never to attend Liberty University. Naturally, I complied.

Instead of looking to the Right Reverend Falwell for spiritual guidance, I bought a used King James Bible at the local flea market (J&J), began reading it more regularly than I drank beer, and soon realized that there is such a thing as a false gospel and a false Jesus. Wow! Not only that, but this false gospel and false Jesus was the only gospel and Jesus I’d had any prior contact with. False religion was nearly as omnipresent as the Lord himself, and through its wiles the Devil had tricked me into speaking evil of the way of truth. Well I hate being hoodwinked, so I set my face like a flint against every false religion and have never looked back.

Now that’s the abridged story of Dirt Road Rock and Dirt Road Gospel. The unabridged version is even more tedious and requires you to drink thirteen kegs of beer in one sitting and walk six hundred and sixty-six miles in my boots before you can even begin to comprehend it. Just listen to the Dirt Road Rock on my debut CD. If you like it, then consider supporting my songwriting habit by making a purchase, offering me a gig, playing my tunes on the radio, signing me to a songwriting contract or recording contract, or performing some other random act of human kindness towards me. In turn, I’ll help you out anyway I can.

I hope to release a Dirt Road Gospel album in the future, so check for news on that. Until then, stay out of the ditch and may God bless you in your walk.