North Carolina natives Ash Breeze (formerly known as The Smith Family) have taken their enticing bluegrass/Americana musical sound to new heights in 2013. As a result, people are taking notice. The band’s first single from their upcoming Mountain Fever Records release will be out in October with a full project to be released later this year.
The name ash breeze has great meaning to the family and is an old sailing term referring to the ability to row the rowboat yourself when there isn’t enough breeze to fill the sails (during a time when oars were made of ash wood). Sailing by ash breeze is a major theme in the book “Carry On Mr Bowditch,” a family favorite and the source of inspiration for the band’s name change.
Classically trained until they switched to bluegrass in 2010, the tight knit family group consists of father Allen on bass, daughter and powerhouse singer Nellie on fiddle, and three sons, Corey on guitar and vocals (also Producer of Generation Bluegrass documentaries, a video bluegrass project that is drawing a great deal of attention), Luke with his steady and polished style on banjo and Cajon, and Eli on vocals and mandolin, offering up a speed and finesse that belies his years. The band’s sound is distinctive, fresh, creative and mature.
Mountain Fever Records founder Mark Hodges, is so pleased with the addition of the band to the label. “I was walking down the hall at a music conference in Virginia last spring and heard this voice. I stepped inside and expected to see a twenty-something woman on the stage and instead found this young fiddler singing her heart out with such incredible tone while playing the fire out of her instrument,” he recalls. “She sings with such tone and emotion for her age that it is unreal.”
It’s apparent that the band is heavily steered by their love of a variety of musical genres including folk, jazz, bluegrass, classical, blues and gospel influences. What you will hear is a distinctive sound strong on instrumentation and intertwined with tight, melodic family harmonies.
Nellie is quickly making a name for herself with her distinctive and soulful singing style along with her smooth, melodic, and award winning fiddle playing that has been greatly influenced by greats like Stuart Duncan and Andy Leftwich.
Don’t judge Ash Breeze by their age, but by their unique and identifiable sound that is fresh and sophisticated. The band garnered attention from bluegrass festivals in Vermont, Canada and South Carolina in 2013 as well as performance slots at the Barbeque and Bluegrass Festivals at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri and Dollywood TN. They’ve performed at Houstonfest in Galax, and recorded a segment for WUNC’s nationally syndicated show Song of the Mountains on the same show as Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver. That show will air in the spring of 2014.
For more information on Ash Breeze, contact Mountain Fever Records at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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