EastonAshe
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EastonAshe

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Less that seven months after its formation in fall 2003 Cave Creek-based "EastonAshe," a four-member acoustic rock band, debuted its first CD, "From the Ashes," Friday night, April 23, at "Jetz." a popular Scottsdale music & sports bar. The band played two 90-minute sets of high energy rock, draing raucous apreciation from a packed house.

Ryan Sims (second from right), CSHS '00, is "EastonAshe's" lead singer, acoustic guitarist & principakl song-writer. Geoff Jouas (second from left) CSHS '03, is the band's exciting drummer & percussionist. Baltimorean Matt Henderson (far right), lead guitarist, vocalist & songwriter, passed up law school to become the band's third "recruit." On the second day of his late-September arrival in Phoeniz from his native Windsor, Ontario ("I was sick of shoveling snow!"), bass guitarist "G.K" Mack (far left) answered the band's ad in New Times and was hired the same afternoon. Fate? Chance? Doesn't matter to four kickin' guys who're producing a great rock sound -- and having one helluva good time in the process!

Who discovered and assembled these talnted musicians? Marylander Eddie Schaffer, 52, the band's producer & manager, and his Baltimore partner, Fred Derby, a Grammy-nominated sound & recording engineer. Schaffer, a perfoming guitarist and recording industry "veteran," made Cave Creek his residential base in 1996. To his right is wife, music partner and "Band Mother" Kim, holding "Sam," the band's five-year-old Bichon Frise mascot. Not pictured is Creeker (and publicist) Brent Diggins, who rounds out the band's Cave Creek "team."

"EastonAshe," keep on rockin out! When you've become rich and famous, don't forget Sonoran News.

Written by Pete Mohr

Originally published April 28, 2004. - Sonoran News


It's not unsual for musicians to speak out against the war, but EastonAshe isn't joining that chorus.

Instead, the fledgling indie-rock band based outside Scottsdale, Ariz., is using a portion of its modes earnings to buy and ship supplies to U.S. troops in Iraq. The band has raised $25,000 in the past year.

"Everybody over there is in our age group," says lead singer Ryan Sims, 22. "Each of us in the band knows somebody who is over there. It should affect everybody in the United States."

The money culled from merchandise sales and benefit concerts is used to send everyday items such as sport drinks, paper towels, toiletries, candy bars, razors and baby wipes. The band also has sent along CDs and holiday cards.

A majority of the materials have been sent to the 1st Battalion, 67th Armored Regiment, part of the Army's 4th Infantry Division out of Fort Hood, Texas. The unit adopted EastonAshe as its official band and invited the group to play a welcome-home party June 30 at Killen, Texas.

EastonAshe also has been invited by the 4th Infantry to play a Freedom Fest on July 4 at Fort Hood. The band plans to keep donating money until all the troops are home.

"It costs us something, but I don't really think of it in those terms," Sims says. "You gain something for everything you give."

Written by Jim Abott

Originally published May 28, 2004 - Orlando Sentinel


MEET THE BAND: (From left) Geoff Jouas, 29, drums; Ryan Sims, 22, acoustic guitar, vocals; Matt Henderson, 26, lead guitar, vocals; G.K. Mack, 28, bass guitar, vocals.

TIME TOGETHER: Since September.

HEADQUARTERS: Cave Creek. All band members are roomates and share a house with manager/producer Eddie Schaffer and Kim Fox.

HOW THEY MET: Henderson lived in Baltimore, where he met Sims and Jouas when they were touring with their old band, Old Dogs New Tricks.

"I checked out the show, and I decided I wanted to join the band," Henderson said.

A few weeks later he was invited to play lead guitar for EastonAshe, the new band they were forming in Arizona. Mack joined the group later as bass player.

"(Mack) made his audition really late," Henderson said. "We already had someone else in mind, but after hearing him play we asked him to join instantly."

WHAT THEY SOUND LIKE: "It's acoustic rock with a little bit of funk," Henderson said. If you had to classify us, I guess it would be contemporary pop" but "that's like asking a chef what his favorite dish is." Their influences range from Metallica to Stevie Wonder.

GOOD DEEDS: EastonAshe has donated more than $25,000 to American troops in Iraq through benefit concerts and merchandise sales, according to Brent Diggins, publicist of EastonAshe. They also created a Christmas album that they sent to the troops.

"They all have friends in the military," Diggins said. "They have different beliefs about the war, but they put those aside to help out the troops."

WHERE THEY ARE PLAYING: 9p.m. Saturday at Shadey O's, 10893 N. Scottsdale, (480) 948-1980. $5 cover.

DETAILS: www.eastonashe.com'

Written by Nicole Girard

Orginally published June 17, 2004. - Arizona Republic


Local boys find success nationally
By Curtis Riggs
CAVE CREEK – When one of the hottest bands in the country hits the Cave Creek Roadhouse over the 4th of July weekend, the trip will be about more than taking in the two fireworks shows.
Taking the stage in Cave Creek will amount to coming home for EastonAshe singer/guitar player Ryan Sims and drummer Geoff Jouas who lived in Cave Creek for several years.
Sims graduated from Cactus Shadows High School in 2000 and Jouas graduated as a Falcon in 2003.
EastonAshe will play at the Roadhouse, 6900 E.
Cave Creek Road, from June 30 through Monday, July 4. The shows will be at 9:30 p.m. except for July 4, which will be at 4 p.m.
Sims and Jouas were living in Cave Creek and working on their music after graduation when they met music producer Eddie Schaffer. Sims was playing open mike nights at the Cave Creek Coffee Company and elsewhere while writing more songs and working on his music during these years.
He was living in a house at Spur Cross and Yucca and enjoying being a Cave Creeker.
“The first thing I saw every morning was Elephant Butte, that’s what I miss the most,” he said about life since EastonAshe began an East Coast tour in the fall of 2004. The band relocated to Baltimore to set up a base for the tour.
“You can’t get much different from Cave Creek than Baltimore,” said Sims, who along with the rest of the band has been putting in 12- to 15-hour days while playing up to five nights a week on the tour.
Sims credits his success as a musician and a writer to what he saw around town every day.
“Cave Creek is so beautiful that for an artist the town lends itself to your creativity,” he said. “It’s hard to be away. Cave Creek is my town.” Jouas, an Arizona native, will enjoy playing a gig that all his friends can attend because they are now old enough to get into clubs. Many of his family will be coming to Cave Creek for the weekend because they love it so much.
He admits that many of his old friends and Cactus Shadows classmates have been “living their lives vicariously through me,” since he has found fame as a musician.
EastonAshe is on the Big Risk Records label. The band recorded the CD “From the Ashes” in 2004.
The single “Days Like These” was recently listed as the No. 1 single in Arizona by the Arizona Reporter.
The trip home will allow Sims a chance to spend some time with his girlfriend.
Both Sims and Jouas will use the opportunity to stock up on tacos from the Indian Village and sub sandwiches from Bad Donkey.
Both are also interested with what is happening with the local music scene since Cave Creek officials began drafting new rules on outside music.
Sims is frustrated because he got his start at the open mikes at the Cave Creek Coffee Company.
“If they take that away they will be taking away an important part of the town,” he said. “David Anderson gives a lot of young artists a chance.” Schaffer agrees. He said it would be a shame for Cave Creek to go in a different direction.
“Cave Creek is such an artist-friendly town,” he said. “Within three blocks you can hear every kind of music conceivable.” EastonAshe will begin a tour of the Midwest after the Roadhouse dates.
Schaffer said the band could release another CD this fall if it is not picked up by another record label in the meantime.
Originally published June 28, 2005 - Sonoran News


By David Burke

Only Mapquest.com knows for sure if the Quad-Cities is halfway between Phoenix and Baltimore.

But it's close enough for the four members of EastonAshe to set up shop here tonight and perform in between its two growing pockets of fan bases.

"We're kind of planting seeds all over the country," guitarist Matt Henderson said, sharing the cell with his bandmates during a phone interview from Phoenix. "We've planted them here, and along the East Coast, and we're planting them along this trip. Slowly but surely, we are becoming national if we aren't already."

Geography plays a big part in the band's sound, thanks to the backgrounds of the four performers. Henderson is from New England; guitarist Ryan Sims is from Indianapolis; drummer Geoff Juoas is

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from Arizona; and bass player G.K. Mack is from Windsor, Ontario.

"I think it's great having guys from different parts of the country, different backgrounds," Henderson said. "I think it kind of enhances the diversity of our band, the diversity of our music."

"I appreciate the fact we're all from different parts of the country, because music can be very geographical," Sims said. "Music on the East Coast can be very different than music they play here on the West Coast. I think that gives us a broader view of where we're going."

The band's influences range from metal to folk and "everything in between," members say.

"It's pretty much all genres," Juoas said. "With all of our individual influences, we put that into the band while still suiting what the song needs. If there's a jazzy guitar part, I won't be doing 16th-note triplets. We try to put our individualness into our instruments to create one cohesive, unique sound."

Boosted by its good response in the Phoenix and Baltimore areas, the band is looking for more regions to conquer before becoming a national act.

"We would like to get signed by a national label, just like any other band," Sims said. "We're on an independent label, and we're pretty confident that we have the capability to go out and do this job with label support, but we would like to go out there and break into new areas and have the support of a major label to push us faster than we might go on our own."

Henderson added, "On a more band related level, a record label would be fantastic and take us way over the top."

EastonAshe is hoping for good response in the Midwest, and is contemplating a Midwestern tour to acquaint itself with the music fans in the flyover states.

"Everywhere we've gone we've been welcomed with open arms. The fans are really receptive to the music," Sims said.

The band says its sound fits in with what's currently hitting radio, without being a carbon copy.

"Our style of music is always very unique and different than most people have heard," Henderson said. "But it's also akin to music that's popular like Gavin DeGraw, John Mayer, Jason Mraz. Music's in kind of an interesting place, with emerging singer-songwriters. There's a renaissance about to occur in the music business."

EastonAshe's three-hour show tonight at Fargo Dance & Sports in Moline will be about 40 percent original music, 60 percent cover songs. - Quad-City Times


By Jay Hodgkins

OCEAN CITY -- Listen to your first EastonAshe song and you might think, "Ok, we've got another John Mayer on our hands." Listen to a second, and then all of a sudden you'll hear the funk sounds of G Love. By the time the band's third song has played, you realize the freshly relocated to Maryland band is something all on its own.

"We tap into a lot of different pieces of current pop like John Mayer and G Love. It's attractive to a diverse group of people. We're on par with a lot of what is current and popular," said electric guitarist Matt Henderson

"The reason we play such varied music is because the music we listen to in the band is so much different. Classic to modern rock -- what we like is what every generation likes. There's good music through all generations and we tap into that."

A variety in musical tastes is no surprise for a band that was assembled in pieces between 2001 and 2002, and that originally called Arizona home despite members coming from as far away as Indiana and Canada.

Lead singer Ryan Sims came together with Henderson, Canadian bassist G.K. Mack and drummer Geoff Jouss, and the group honed a sound they call "acoustic rock with a blend of funk."

But Arizona couldn't satisfy the talented group's aspirations to take their popular sound national.

"Basically, they really won the market in Arizona, but Arizona is a black hole for music so they decided to come to Maryland," said band manager Eddie Shaffer of Desert Sky Productions.

In the fall of 2004, the band moved to Baltimore to enter the fracas of a competitive, make-or-break Mid-Atlantic music scene.

"It's relatively competitive and we enjoy that, but the Mid-Atlantic is a big market with a lot of cities and we think there's room for everyone," said Henderson.

There's certainly room for the band in Ocean City, where the group has found a new regular home at brand new bar and club, Castaways, on 63rd Street.

"Castaways is amazing and has spared no expense getting things going," lead singer Sims said.

And Castaways and Ocean City must think EastonAshe is pretty amazing as well, as the venue is teaming surf apparel outfitter Hurley with the band for an Aug. 6 event with clothes and prize giveaways for a show and event beginning at 9:30 p.m.

Sims said EastonAshe plays a mix of about 60 percent covers and 40 percent original music at Castaways performances with covers of everything from Simon and Garfunkel to the Foo Fighters, but yet another sign of the quality of the group is an offer Castaways managers made to the band.

"Castaways has been so interested in our originals that they said if we want to do a show of nothing but originals that we can," said Henderson, describing a rarity for Ocean City's popular cover dominated music scene.

The affection around EastonAshe doesn't just travel one way, however, as the band becomes more familiar with the resort through a number of Castaways shows following a couple of performances at the Purple Moose last spring.

"What we like about Ocean City is it's a vacation town, so we play to a fresh crowd every week," Sims said. "They go home and tell all their friends about us so when you play Ocean City it's like playing to thousands of other towns."

And Henderson added that the locals have been crucial to the band's growth as well, saying, "They're a tight knit group. A lot of people go home and tell their friends and then other club owners hear about us and want us to play there. It's an easy and cool place to develop a following."

Through Ocean City and the music grindstone that is the Mid-Atlantic music scene, EastonAshe plans on developing that following this year to the very top with a full tour schedule and new original album due out in the fall.

"We have a good following in Arizona and the Mid-Atlantic is starting to do well," Sims said. "We're just going to keep on developing a following until the record labels can't ignore us anymore."

Originally published Friday, August 5, 2005 - The Daily Times/www.DelMarvaNow.com


(AzReporter) -- These gifted musicians: Ryan Sims (acoustic guitar player), Geoff Jouas (drummer), Matt Henderson (lead guitarist and vocalist), and G. K. Mack (bassist) are known as the band EastonAshe. EastonAshe this week takes over the top single tracks spot on the Arizona Net Music Countdown. Their single "Days Like These" leaps to No. 1 while their EP "From the Ashes" reaches No. 2 on the Arizona EP/LP list.
- AZreporter.com


EastonAshe is the Johnny Appleseed of rock 'n' roll, a roaming quartet of musicians who moved across the country in an effort to spread the fertile seeds of its unique sound.

These young rockers pulled into Baltimore last July to set up shop, after successfully sprouting a dedicated fan base back home in Scottsdale, Ariz.

They say their new centrally-located home in Charm City enables them to start working the Mid-Atlantic circuit, to put another piece of the puzzle together in their route to becoming a nationally-known act.

"It's hard to tour when you're in the middle of the desert and the nearest city is six hours away," says guitarist Matt Henderson. "Baltimore seemed to be the logical place to move."

After getting substantial radio airplay for their funky acoustic guitar-driven tunes and earning the admiration of audiences in the region's top venues out west, it was back to square one as the guys now look to make their name in a new region.

"You get comfortable playing somewhere, you get comfortable with the people and then suddenly you're starting over again," says guitarist Ryan Sims. "Then you realize not a lot of bands get to do this."

A lot of other bands also wouldn't have the support, know-how or drive to organize their own tours to the West Coast and back without the support of a major record label.

These four guys do.

Their biggest success so far has come when they played in front of a crowd of 20,000 at last July's Freedom Fest in Fort Hood, Texas.

Sims says their course of action and successes should have the industry sit up and take notice.

"You have to be competition for them," he says. "If you're out making money on your own, they'll take notice. But you have to get out there and work your butt off. You have to put yourself in the right place at the right time."

EastonAshe will be making its first excursion to Ocean City this weekend when the quartet hits up the Purple Moose Saloon on Friday, April 8 and Saturday, April 9. The band plans to play two 90-minute sets on both nights.

Audience members with good ears may have a shot at picking the scattered original compositions the band will offer between an eclectic blend of classic and modern rock during their two-night stint on the Boardwalk.

Although EastonAshe's pop rock compositions possesses a unique sound of its own, the quality of the music has led people who are hearing the songs to easily interpret them as those of a well-known act. The music they write is very radio friendly, catchy and has a hook to it.

The group's main songwriting partnership of Sims and Henderson came together nearly two years ago as the band was assembled with the help of producer Eddie Schaffer. The two -- along with bassist G.K. Mack and drummer Geoff Jouas -- quickly came to know each other, despite each member originally hailing from other parts of the continent.

"From a musician's standpoint it was awesome," Sims said. "We got to pick out the best players we could find. Right off the bat. Now that the band has been together for two years, the friendships have been a natural development of the band."

Once they've adequately spread their name on the East Coast, they'll be back on the road to find a new base of operations from which they'll tour. The Midwest has been tossed around as their next probable stop. Like they have done with Arizona, the guys say they'll regularly return to the mid-Atlantic to nurture and cultivate a new crop of EastonAshe fans they plan to grow.

Originally published Friday, April 8, 2005 - Maryland Beach Comber


by Megan Finnerty
of The Arizona Republic and Yes
Jan. 12, 2006 12:00 AM

EastonAshe had me at hello.

Specifically, the Lionel Richie version.

We're at Café Carumba! in Scottsdale, and over glasses of wine and cheese plates, lead guitarist and vocalist Matt Henderson tells me Hello is one of the newest covers the band is considering.

The thought of four men, who look like they just stepped out of Dawson's Creek, leaning into their mics and earnestly asking, "Hello. Is it me you're looking for?" makes me giggle with delight.

And that's part of their charm.

EastonAshe is as comfortable gorgeously harmonizing their (post-breakup) emotions on originals as they are selling the drama of a growling Dave Matthews cover.

It's this mix of quirky originals and earnest covers, ranging from Peter Gabriel's Digging in the Dirt to Sublime's Badfish, that has earned EastonAshe a significant local fan base.

The band, which performs four or five nights a week, is one of only a handful of local bands that can regularly draw large enough crowds to allow members to work full time as musicians.

And working full time allows them to live together in a kind of forever frat house, albeit an upperclass sort with 5 acres in Cave Creek, where they host the kinds of fan-filled fetes you'd expect of a bunch of single, 20-something rock guys.

"We work extremely hard, and we party extremely hard. We're always having people over after shows," says guitarist and vocalist Ryan Sims, 23.

At that house, drummer Geoff Jouas, 21, shares a master bedroom (outfitted with separate beds) and balcony with bassist Nathan Marshall, 22, whereas Sims, Henderson, 27, and lighting technician, Tony Caporale, 23, have their own rooms. But no balconies.

There, they have their recording studio, buffalo and wolves for neighbors, and the freedom to entertain themselves in ways that manboys, if left to their own devices, will apparently do.

Over their third glasses of red, I learn that Jouas and Marshall just bought pet snakes. Sims is planning to wake Jouas up one upcoming morning with a BB to the rear.

And they've invented a "game" called slap, in which they slap each other across the face, apropos of nothing and without warning.

"This band is our business. And when you own your own business, you're the master of your own destiny," Henderson says. "If I want to watch the sunrise at 6 a.m. when I haven't been to sleep since the day before, I can. Just not from my own balcony."

Of course, there's talk about how they love wine tastings, art exhibits and cultural events, because this is, after all, a band from Cave Creek.

But those professions of class are followed immediately by such statements as, "We love red wine. I mean, we must have 200 empty bottles of it around the house," Sims says.

Then there was his prediction that the Valley music scene is about to "explode."

"I'll tell you why. The porn scene is here, and where the porn scene is, so is the music. I swear."

I can't tell whether he's kidding.

The tasting is cut short when Sims says they've got to go set up their gear at Upper Deck Sports Grill.

Later, I stop by to check out their set and catch a blistering version All Along the Watchtower. (Every time Sims growls à la Dave Matthews, women in the crowd shriek.)

Then the band breaks and Sims stops by to say hi.

Me: "You guys sound great."

Sims: "Yeah, well, we're all really happy right now because we just got stoned."

Again, I can't tell if he's kidding. - The Arizona Republic


Discography

Nothing's Changed (2003) - Single
From the Ashes (2004) - EP
Can I Drive It? (2006) - full-length debut

Photos

Bio

Winner - 2007 LA Music/Hollywood F.A.M.E. Awards
"National Independent Rock Album of the Year"

Official Nominee - 2008 Phoenix Music Awards
"Rock Artist of the Year"

Official Nominee - 2008 Phoenix Music Awards
"Rock Single of the Year"

Official Nominee - 2008 Phoenix Music Awards
"Male Vocal Performance"

Official Nominee - 2008 Phoenix Music Awards
"Independent Rock Album of the Year"

In the spring of 2003 singer/songwriter/guitarist Ryan Sims and drummer Geoff Jouas recorded the independent two song single "Nothing's Changed." Several months later Sims began collaborating with fellow singer/songwriter/guitarist Matt Henderson, and in the fall of 2003 EastonAshe was born. With the addition of bassist Jason Silverman the line-up was complete.

In the spring of 2004 EA released the EP "From the Ashes" and shortly thereafter began an extensive tour of the East Coast.

EastonAshe released their independent full-length debut album "Can I Drive It?" on Sept. 16th, 2006 to a sold out audience at the Wrigley Mansion.

In the past few months EA has shared the stage with national acts such as The Doobie Brothers, John Waite, Daniel Powter, Liberty Devito (Billy Joel), Collective Soul, the Spin Doctors and the Subdudes.

Booking:
EastonAshe Productions, LLC
35266 N. 36th Place
Cave Creek, AZ 8531
(602) 412-3912
eastonashe@hotmail.com

PR/Marketing:
Brent Diggins, Diggs Communications
brentd@diggspr.com
(480) 516-2035