Ashley Martin is a singer-songwriter from the heart of America. She was born in Dayton, Ohio into a family where music was a basic part of life. She quickly found her place in her family’s seventy-five-piece gospel choir, belting her first solo at just six years old. At age twelve she was competing in vocal competitions and started her solo singing career at retirement homes and assisted living facilities. At age nineteen she attended Belmont University in Nashville and studied music business. After eight years of honing her craft as an artist, retiring from a rock band and declining an offer in the pop world, Martin now tours the country with her four-piece band. She has created a unique style all her own – a mix of country, rock and pop. Her shows are sexy, high-energy musical experiences. More information about Ashley Martin.
Soul Circus Cowboys
Soul Circus Cowboys are a country group based out of Tampa Florida. Soul Circus Cowboys’ first album, Lay It Down, quickly established the band as a musical force to be reckoned with. Critics and fans praised the song for its message and authenticity, the band for its astute musicianship and the album as a collection of well-told stories, each crafted by songwriters who’ve “been there – done that.” The video for Lay It Down became a fan favorite on country music video channels, including Great American Country (GAC) and Country Music Television (CMT). Soul Circus Cowboy’s single, That’s The Way We Roll offers an equally eclectic combination of sounds, styles and stories, all written (or co-written) by McKnight, the master storyteller.
From the intense vocal delivery and to-the-point lyrics of She’s A Lot Like Whiskey to the emotionally wrenching, instrumentally charged If You’re Gonna Leave; That’s The Way We Roll rounds off the band’s rough edges, exposing a more polished, yet gutsier, grittier kind of country rock.
Learn more: https://soulcircuscowboys.com
You and I both know that America has been through a lot these past few years. Clay “Uncle Snap” Sharpe and Brian “Rooster” King know it better than most. But as The Lacs, they’ve had a unique view of where we’ve been, where we’re going — and what parts of our identity haven’t changed at all.
On American Rebelution, their aptly titled sixth album, The Lacs take all that they’ve witnessed, roll it up in a unique sound they call “dirt rock” and lay down the truth as they see it. Yes, these 12 tracks stand on the hip-hop/country/Southern rock bedrock Clay and Brian pioneered along with a handful of other innovators. But that’s just the beginning of this story.
Nearly 20 years ago, these proud sons of Baxley, Georgia, unleashed their first beats and ripped through their first rhymes. Since then they’ve headed down highways far from the hometown dirt roads, watching landscapes roll past on the way to their next shows. Over time their venues got bigger, their audiences more diverse. They still play the mud parks for their longtime fans, but lately they’ve noticed differences in the crowds they’re drawing.
He laughs, a gully-deep chuckle as Clay jumps in. “It’s definitely no disrespect for anybody that don’t live our lifestyle, but this is us and everybody who comes to our shows is just like family. We’ve learned a lot from our fans over the past few years.”
“For the most part, we write about home,” Brian says. “That’s why we do our writing back in Georgia. We’ll write about things we’ve seen on the road but even then it’s about how we see them because of who we are and where we’re from.”
Home, on American Rebelution, is where you kick it with your friends, on a mellow afternoon in “Lake Somewhere” or a wild Friday night in “Drink as a Team.” It’s spending time with your family where you grew up, in their “white trash trailer on a dirt road” (“My Kinfolks”). It’s the satisfaction you feel when you can persuade an “uptown girl” to reconsider her ways (“Now I’ve got her listening to Merle and I think she might be changing her mind,” Brian slyly suggests on “Redneck As Me.”) It’s that edgy underside of braggadocio when comparing the size of your truck to someone else’s on the metaphorical “Mine’s Bigger.” Sometimes home is where you’ve passed your limit and drunkenly improvise the latest chapter of The Lacs’ ongoing epic, “Great Moments in Redneck History.”
Above all else, home is where everything The Lacs do begins and ends. They still live near where they were born; you can sense it in every note the sing and word they say. “You want to make the folks back home proud when they listen to you,” Clay says.
This means not trading in what you know and who you are for something glitzier or trendier. It’s being true to yourself and trusting people will notice. That’s been borne out so far, as The Lacs have already passed half a billion streams on Pandora.
“None of that has come from radio or big publicity campaigns,” Clay insists. “It’s all from our fans telling other people about our music.”
“And those new fans have been coming around,” Brian says. “People are starting to get tired of this so-called pop country. They want something a little more hard-core, something that comes from rock ’n’ roll and the kind of country we had back in the Nineties.”
“There’s always gonna be old-school country fans that ain’t ever gonna accept rap,” Clay notes. “But the people who do give this music a chance, it can touch them in a way they’ve never experienced before.”
Which takes us back to the top: America has been through a lot recently. But all of the changes we’ve weathered have only sent us back toward the things that endure, the beliefs that anchor us and tie us together. The Lacs have always known that. That rings truer than ever throughout this American Rebelution.
Learn more: http://www.TheLacsMusic.com
Special Thanks to the Clinton County Convention & Visitors Bureau for sponsoring Jeep Jam's live entertainment.