Ashley Lewis is a young singer, songwriter and mandolinist who is turning heads in Nashville. Still in her mid-twenties, she is already drawing comparisons to the most notable female artists in bluegrass, with powerful expectations for Captivated, her third self-released album. A debut single, River’s Rising
is available to radio now and will be premiered this weekend during Into The Blue on the 139 affiliated stations of the Bluegrass Radio Network. It’s one of the 11 originals from Ashley on the new record.
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Named Waubonsee “Fab 40”
Waubonsee Community College has named Ashley Lewis, seen here with her mandolin, one of the college’s “Fabulous 40” for her accomplishments in the field of music and for her academic success in the classroom.
Ashley Lewis has had a No. 1 record in terms of bluegrass airplay this summer, as well as two other songs that have charted. To what does she attribute to her summer success? "Hard work, great team, God's blessing," said the Sandwich singer and mandolinist, who now lives outside of Nashville, Tenn. Her new manager, John Dorris, feels there's a little more to it.
I heard a terrific mandolin solo on the Sirius Bluegrass channel this morning on a song called Rivers Rising by Ashley Lewis that really caught my ear. I had never heard of Ashley Lewis, so I checked out her website to see who her mando player is and discovered... it is her!!! Wow, this lady has got some serious chops!
Ashley Lewis probably could make it on her voice alone. The fact that she can absolutely shred on a mandolin is outright unfair. On top of that, she’s also an incredible fiddler. Though she’s received many awards for her mandolin playing, she never seems to be on a pedestal; she relates to the listener with both empathy and honesty. Lush harmonies and weaving string lines compliment Lewis’ sweet voice and melodic playing. The result is a full bodied, multi-texture sound that pushes musicianship towards the forefront, while still retaining the simplicity and catchiness of bluegrass and country pop. Ashley draws upon influences from roots rock to Delta blues, and paints a varied tapestry of sweet-souled country. Ashley is releasing her third album this spring. Guest-starring such notable performers as Vince Gill, Carl Jackson, Jon Randall, “Captivated” hits the shelves in April.
Ashley Lewis has garnered a lot of interest and support of late. Her new album, Captivated, sees her take on a variety of original songs and standards, accompanying herself on mandolin, along with a cast of great players. From the dobro of Andy Hall, bass from Dennis Crouch, Jimmy Mattingly’s fiddle (Jimmy also produced the work), Sammy Shelor’s banjo and guitar contributions from Cody Kilby, Kent Wells and Josh Williams, the music of Captivated is lush, intricate and warming. The album is by turn traditional, and progressive, and shows flair and a clear imagination.
For Sandwich native, music is a passion
Ashley Lewis hadn't visited Harding Community Center since her mother, Jan, stopped hosting the monthly bluegrass jams in 2011. Ashley Lewis began performing in such shows when she was about 8 years old. "I have wonderful memories here. This place really sparked my passion for playing," Lewis said during a recent visit to the hall for a photo and interview session.