Wade Lashley
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Wade Lashley

Band Americana Singer/Songwriter


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"review of "Someone Take the Wheel""

Flagstaff singer-songwriter Wade Lashley has been slogging it out in the local bar circuit for years, honing his country flecked, story heavy folk songs. His debut, In from the Wilderness, released in 2005, displayed a true-to-life, stripped-down version of Lashley and not much more than his acoustic and smooth baritone. The album presented the artist in his barest form, with raw versions of his vintage songcraft. That was ’05.
Now in 2008, Lashley still performs in Flagstaff mostly solo after a jaunt fronting the way-too-short-lived band South Bound. But his newest disc, Someone Take the Wheel, is a more fully realized version of Lashley’s songs, leaving the solo framework behind for a more highly produced roots, rock, country and Americana effort.
From the opening snare pop of the album’s first track “Turn Around South Bound,” through Someone Take the Wheel’s nine other tracks, the listener is treated to Lashley’s musical comfort food: multilayered, story heavy lyrics about love, loss, weariness, redemption, travel, and home; expert musicality from Lashley’s many Flagstaff friends; and a hearty, big sound that truly does his songs justice with plenty of bark left on the tree.
Produced and engineered in Flagstaff by Corvo Radio’s Jeff Lusby at his Radio Dog Studio, Someone Take the Wheel features many of Flag’s best players including longtime Lashley collaborator keyboardist/vocalist Steve Caldwell, who also plays with the Flag country rockers Gravy. Caldwell complements Lashley impeccably, with gentle piano, stirring organ and solid tenor backing vocals. For the album, Lashley also enlisted Flag’s all-around guitar badass Brad Bays who lays down plenty of Nashville-ready chicken-pickin’ Telecaster licks and even banjo on a few songs.
On Someone Take the Wheel, Lashley’s vocals convey a deep sensitivity of spirit, with just a tinge of the Midwestern accent he’s carried around since moving from Indiana to Arizona in the early ’90s. After taking an extended break from music, he revisited songwriting and began performing again in 2003. And all Lashley’s life experience has served him well in his songs. “Someone Take the Wheel” (the song) is an ode to burnout, pumping new life into the well-worn road-as-life metaphor, vaguely reminiscent of Dylan’s grave robbing classic “Isis.” The album’s third track, “Coffee Tea or Whiskey,” is a rural tale of welcoming a lover back after an extended absence, and on the ninth track, “River Song,” Lashley and company lay down a solid, up-tempo beat that hints at bluegrass with Bays on banjo.
For Lashley, Someone Take the Wheel is a major turning point, representing a talented artist’s jump from the confines of a solo record to the grander scale of lush, diverse soundscapes. Lashley’s newest effort is further undeniable proof of the vibrant signs of life always emanating from the Flagstaff music scene.
- Ryan Heinsus Flag Live

"Rewind 2005"

Wade Lashley, In from the Wilderness
Wade plays a simple but solid acoustic guitar accompanied by his straight forward vocal structure and harmonica. Albeit simplistic, this disk isn’t lacking. Wade’s songwriting seemingly comes directly from the pages of his personal journal. It takes a big heart to be able to spill your soul onto a CD and hand it out to anyone willing to give you a closer listen. For a fuller version of his songs, Wade is currently putting together a band with members of Gravy and Huck Freely. Look for them around town in February and visit www.wadelashley.com.

- Flag Live

"Review "In From The Wilderness""

It’s always the quiet ones. Often it takes a silent person to tell the rest of us about life, about emotions and of the complex human situations we all seem to get into.
For a few years now, Flagstaff has been graced by its own quiet observer of life, love and the human experience: Wade Lashley. This week the Flagstaff country-folk troubadour is celebrating the release of In from the Wilderness, an 11-song collection of some of his best tunes that perfectly demonstrate his ability in bottling specific situations to produce a universal mythos of the modern mortal condition. Lashley is a guy who seems often content in simply observing his surroundings, sipping his happy hour beer at Pay ‘N Take, chatting and always taking mental notes of his surroundings. Every word that comes out of his mouth is deliberate, every action purposeful. Listening to In from the Wilderness, the listener gets a real sense of the author of these songs.
Much like his persona, there is never a guitar chord, vocal melody, harmonica lick or word out of place.
On In from the Wilderness Lashley leads an emotional journey through the not-so-rosy side of personal relationships, with a sometimes happy resolution, but an ever-present challenge to the listener to figure it out on their own. The title track of the album, “In From the Wilderness,” utilizes a distinct minor-key feel while declaring “Melody lies waiting on the breeze,” summing up Lashley’s sometimes whimsical wordplay among the imagery of the destitute and somewhat depraved.
When Lashley opens his mouth, snapshots of situations and the heart wrenching feelings of his subjects come through in his smooth baritone, lightly peppered with a country twang. His songs are journalistic in nature and, according to Lashley, many of his tunes are mentally earmarked and written in people watching sessions. No matter how specific the problem or crisis, Lashley can always find a way to relate liars, cheaters, breakups and heartache to his listeners, who hang on his words like a bookworm enthralled with a literary classic.
In from the Wilderness has a stripped down Nebraska-esque Bruce Springsteen feel with its bare bones, sparse production, and contemplative, multilayered lyrical content. All 11 tracks were recorded live at Sundisc Studios by Chris Donnelly with the only overdubs being the occasional harmonica breaks in songs such as the album’s first track, “Down like the Rain.”
“Both Hands on the Wheel,” the third song on the album, provides a snapshot of a knockdown drag-out, relationship-ending fight that Lashley may have been involved in; or may have just observed—for the purpose of the story it doesn’t really matter. The point is driven home in the clincher line, “Can’t make someone stay if they’re ready to drive away.” No matter if the listener has ever been embroiled in the exact scenario; Lashley’s words make them understand.
The second track on the record, “Shelter in My Arms,” revisits the theme of a happy melancholy. Lashley sings, “Take my hand when that sweet sadness comes. You’ll find shelter in my arms.” These words echo as the thesis statement of Lashley’s music: The sweet sadness he sings of refers to that edge where there is comfort and hope in the downhearted and dejected.
For Lashley that sweet sadness in his songs makes it all worthwhile; for there is grief within beauty and glory within imperfection. Sadness certainly never sounded so sweet.
Wade Lashey will celebrate the release of In from the Wilderness by performing his Nashville-ready tunes on the Flagstaff Brewing Co. patio, 16 E. Rte. 66, Thu, June 30 at 9 p.m. For more info, see www.wadelashley.com or call 773-1442. - Flag Live

"review of "Someone Take the Wheel""

Roots Highway review by Nicola Girvasini
There’s a road, there’s a car going towards the horizon, there’s the American Myth in every line of his songs, there are those sounds covered with Mississippi mud that John Hiatt used to love, there’s a big baritone voice talking with keyboards (only piano and hammond organ, don’t worry about synthesizers), there is that sensation, that catch you since the first time you hear that record, to be at home again under your reassuring covers. Eyes fixed on Wade Lashley, the last of an American songwriters tradition that lives between folk and southern rock, and upon his Someone Take The Wheel. In 2005 this not-so-young Arizona artist had published a solo record (In From The Wilderness), the result of an activity that last since the 90’s, and now he has done his maturity record. Probably Lashley have anything more to say than what Turn Around South Bound (with his Al Kooper-like organ) or Coffee Tea And Whiskey have already said, he only takes on a new life a good tradition without moving anything, and also in the better moments, he seems to have an ordinary pen caught in a right moment. It’s not easy today to make roots-records without falling in repetition and mannerism, but if there’s no much originality here, Lashley has enough personality to manage things in the right way. So it’s fair if we choose Someone Take The Wheel between many others similar records, there is a perfect production (Jeff Lusby, a sound engineer) and there’s no lack moments, except probably some repetitiveness in Drift Away. But songs like Fall or Someone Take The Wheel are part of this superior race of songs that you can put on a car-compilation with your best track-list of the moment, because these are tunes that only ask to be heard on the road. Tonight is the irremissible romantic ballad, River Song the classic texan rural ride as Joe Ely used to do, Waiting On The Rain is a patented folk registered by the americanized Graham Parker, Rootless Wanderer the inevitabile hymn to the hobos that close the record with some epic mood. And Someone Take The Wheel is the record that you already have in your cd’s collection, but you still need again. (Nicola Gervasini) translated from Italian

- Roots Highway magazine


"In from The Wilderness" solo recording featuring 11 original songs. released July of '05

"Someone Take the Wheel" 10 originals with full backing band. released September 1st '08

More music at WadeLashley.com



I began playing guitar at 19 and a year or two later was in my first band. I performed with some really experienced people and they taught me alot. I started writing my own songs about this time and soon learned that creating original music was something I had to do.
I left Indiana in 1992 for Arizona. I took a break from music for awhile but I've been busy writing and performing since 2003. The last four years have been great for my music. I've written some of my finest material to date. I recorded a solo disc in 2005 titled "In from the Wilderness"and began recording a follow up in December '07 that I released on September 1st of this year. I've been performing with Keyboardist Steve Caldwell for the last 3 years and Brad Bays joined us 2 years back.
Influences and inspiration I look to Robbie Robertson, Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams, The JayHawks and John Hiatt. Ultimately I really like the less is more approach of Lucinda and Hank Williams too. Mostly I'm looking for honesty, passion and truth. These are great ingredients for music and life. I believe you'll agree after a listen, that these traits are present in my songs whether it's a live performance or recording. I'm going to continue my search and I hope you do the same.

Freddy Cellis of Rootstime.be magazine says....."Lashley is an artist that deserves our undivided attention".

Roots Highway's Nicola Gervasini compares Lashley to John Hiatt, Joe Ely and Graham Parker