Local Musician Ashley Gray chats with us – Performing this Weekend
I saw that the Conshohocken VFW was having a musician this weekend and I wanted to know more. I ended up chatting with the musician herself, Ashley Gray!
I’m chatting with Ashley, hi… thanks for taking the time to talk with me. Forgive me, I know you are playing locally soon, tell us where and when.
Hi! I will be at the Conshohocken VFW this Friday from 7 to 10 and Saturday, I will be playing at Jasper’s backyard from six to nine.
Next Wednesday, I will be down at The Pullman Restaurant in Bryn Mawr from 5:30 to 8:30.
Did you grow up in the area, if not what brought you here?
I did not, I was born in Muncie, Indiana, and I moved out here when I was 30 years old after meeting the father of my children. We met in Indiana at my local music venue, we were both musicians performing the same weekend. Long story short, I moved out here later that year, we got married a few years later and started a family. We are no longer married, but my kids and I have a great life out here, I’ve been living here for 11 years and this is home now.
I should have started with, so your a musician? What type of music do you play, instruments?
I play everything from classic blues to modern pop. I’m from the Midwest with southern roots, I play a lot of southern rock, modern and classic country, folk, music, classic rock 90s music, I have a little something for everybody in the crowd.
I started out on percussion instruments, I learned guitar so I could start playing solo in my late 20s and I recently started learning piano.
Sorry I’m bouncing all over the place here… favorite bands/musicians/singer songwriters?
I’ll try to condense the list, I love most music other than death metal, I can’t hang with that ha ha. I grew up with the Beatles, Billy Joel, Jimi Hendrix, and Janis Joplin. I love the blues, I love Lady Gaga, she’s probably my favorite, modern artist. I also like different types of country and Bluegrass, soul, classic rock, the Grateful Dead, rockabilly.. I have a collective range of musical taste and that always shows in my song choices of my acoustic sets.
Funny how most people who enjoy music go to what they grew up with and then talk about “their own” music, bands or music they found as they got older. We had a lot of Bruce and Fleetwood Mac in our house growing up.
I know this could be redundant but if you create original music, who have been some of the artists that inspire you?
Ma Rainey, June Carter, Bobbie Gentry, Dolly Parton, Madonna. Lady Gaga also but I don’t see that as a redundancy. What draws me to her most is that she also has a collective range of styles of music she likes to write and perform. I love that about her, she can do anything. Something that I enjoy about playing, is jumping around the different genres because I love so many of them.
My wife and kids love Lady Gaga! And you are so right, she has been able to plot her own course.
Beisdes this weekend, what else do you have coming up?
I mentioned to The Pullman next week and I think that’s my last show for May. Next month I will be at Washies in Conshohocken, I’ll be playing a set at the Conshohocken car show, and I have a few other venues lined up as well during the month of June.
So, besides your family, what else do you love about the area?
Something I love about living out here in the Philadelphia area is how easy it is to find work as a musician. That’s not a local luxury back around my hometown in Indiana if you know what I mean. I’m a country girl at heart so even after 11 years it’s really hard to get used to such a densely populated urban environment, I missed the field in the wide open spaces, never thought I would feel that way when I left haha but I love all the opportunities this area provides. I’m very happy living here.
Thank you! I hope to catch you performing soon!
All photos provided by Ashley Gray.