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Kay Ashley: News

East Bay Kay is in da house! - May 15, 2010

So, after an incredibly tumultuous year—in which I released my debut CD, was shortly thereafter laid off from my job at a NYC hedge fund, sometime after that went on a road trip that led me to realize that NYC was slowly killing me, and then decided to move to northern California—I am finally settled in the San Francisco Bay area.

The weather is fantastic, the earth moves on a regular basis, and I'm as happy as a San Francisco Bay dungeness crab to be here. More to come soon...

...and please check out my calendar for upcoming gigs.

CD Release Party! - March 15, 2009

HELIOTROPE will be officially released on March 24th, 2009, just a few days after the Vernal Equinox. Whether heliotrope is your favorite flower, your favorite color, your favorite stone, your favorite surveying instrument, your favorite biological phenomenon (clearly I am in favor of all you people picking up a dictionary)—or perhaps even your favorite new CD—I think we can agree that the beginning of spring is a great time to release a record.

I'm excited to announce that the release party for HELIOTROPE will take place at DROM, a fabulous club in the East Village. DROM mostly caters to the World music scene (fabulous), but they do open their doors for the occasional singer-songwriter, and I'm honored to be able to present the CD release concert at DROM. And to really get this party started, the cover charge of $15 includes a free copy of HELIOTROPE at the door. Let's put the smack-down on the market collapse! Check out all the details on the Calendar page.

I'll be performing with a full band, and we'll do our best to recreate some of HELIOTROPE's lush arrangements. I'm thrilled to have the following brilliant musicians at my disposal: Michael Leonhart, Jamie Leonhart, David Pilgrim, V. Jeffrey Smith, elizabeth!, Jeff Jeudy, Shelley Nicole Jefferson, Maritri Garrett, Allison Tartalia, Bekah Gucciardo, Jenn Foster, and Martha Colby...

And to top it all off, the amazing Bulgarian vocalist Vlada Tomova and her band Balkan Tales will be my very special guests, opening up the night. Vlada will also be joining me during my set to sing some Bulgarian folk songs with me, a cappella style—a real thrill for me, and hopefully enjoyable for you. :-)

My debut CD "Heliotrope" is now available! - December 1, 2008

Recession?! What recession?! … Give the gift of music this holiday season. And at $15 per CD, "Heliotrope" is a true bargain! "Heliotrope" won't become commercially available until the official release date on March 21, 2009, but you can purchase the CD directly from me starting today.

Northeast Regional Folk Alliance Conference - November 11, 2008

I'll be traveling to the Catskills this weekend to attend the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance Conference, fondly known as NERFA to the initiated... I'm excited to announce that I've been chosen to perform in the Folk DJ's Choice Showcase. Bill Jumper from WJFF Radio Catskill in Jeffersonville, NY selected me from the pool of applicants, and I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to perform in this coveted showcase. Thanks, Bill!

HELIOTROPE headed to the factory! - October 1, 2008

I got the final discs back from my mastering engineer this week, and as soon as I finish the artwork, it's off to the factory! I'm looking at having 1,000 copies of "Heliotrope" in my hot little hands (and taking up a lot of space in my apartment) by the end of the month, and soon after that, it will be available for purchase on CD Baby, iTunes, and DigStation. Don't let the market crash get you down—buy music! :-)

15th Annual Billboard World Song Contest - August 15, 2008

Just a post to let ya'll know that I received four top-tier "Honorable Mentions" in this year's Billboard World Song Contest. "Beautiful" placed in both the Folk and Pop categories, "Holy Man" placed in the World category, and "The Wind Is Gonna Blow You Down" placed in the Rock category. Hey, I didn't win, but I placed in four different categories—how cool is that? :-)

Summer Update - June 17, 2008

As we near the Summer Solstice, the arrival of my new CD HELIOTROPE (co-produced by Michael Leonhart and myself) also nears... and I have some shows coming up, too...
Recently I've been playing every Monday night with a great group of musicians who call themselves The Soul Folk Experience, and there is some video footage of some of our live, impromptu collaborations in the Links section of my website. I'll be playing with some of the Soul Folk folks on Friday, June 20th at 6:30 at Banjo Jim's, testing out the HELIOTROPE material and gearing up for the cd release party this fall. Check out the Calendar section for information about more upcoming shows this summer...

HELIOTROPE IS COMPLETE! - May 22, 2008

I've got the final mixes in the can, as they say, and now it's off for mastering and replication. It's the end of a long road, but I am so happy with the results and hope that you will be too. You can hear the unmastered tracks in the Music section.

I've got some interesting shows coming up: I'll be playing in-the-round with Jenny Goodspeed and Patti DeRosa at Thataway Café in Greenwich, CT on May 29th... and then several NYC shows in June and July. Take a gander over to the Calendar for all the details...

Recently I've been playing with a great group of musicians who call themselves The Soul Folk Experience, and there is some video footage of some of our live, impromptu collaborations in the Links section of my website. I'll be playing some shows with them in June, so keep a lookout...

Spring is almost here... - March 13, 2008

... and so is my CD! I've decided to name the CD "HELIOTROPE", which is a return to an old idea I had for the name of the CD. Then over time I thought that heliotrope was too obscure a word, and that I should name the CD after its meaning: leaning towards the light. Now I've decided that dictionaries are good for you, so please read all about the varied and multi-layered meanings of the word 'heliotrope'. Happy hunting! The CD is steadily moving down the assembly line towards the mastering stage, and then it's off to the factory... more updates soon!

And I've got a show coming up on Sunday, April 13th at Brooklyn's Perch Cafe. I'll be the featured artist that night at the weekly open mike series, hosted by the venerable Sara Holtzschue. See the Calendar section for more details...

Happy New Year! - January 3, 2008

2008 brings in a new leap year, and a new CD from me ~ "Leaning Towards The Light" will be coming your way very soon... 2008 also brings a new show at Rockwood Music Hall, my most favorite venue in NYC. I'll be playing there on Tuesday, January 22nd at 7 pm. See my Calendar for more details and for information about additional upcoming shows...

Leaning Towards The Light - November 19, 2007

I've been keeping quiet for a while, working on my debut CD "Leaning Towards The Light" with the brilliant Michael Leonhart (Steely Dan, Lenny Kravitz) in the producer's chair. And for those of you who thought I would *never* finish, I must say, in the immortal words of Winnebago Man, "Bullsh*t! I'm gonna slate this f*cker!"

So anyway, I've posted a few new rough mixes, so check 'em out. The CD will be mixed, mastered, and duplicated early in the new year. Look out for the "Leaning Towards The Light" CD release party on or near the vernal equinox...

Summer into Fall - October 1, 2007

So, what did YOU do on your summer vacation?... Actually, no summer vacation for me, but rather a new day job, which has occupied my time and attention.

But now I'm back! I'll be playing tamboura for Hindustani Classical vocalist Sounak Chattopadhyay on Thursday, October 4th, and later this month, I will FINALLY be finishing up my first full-length CD, "Leaning Towards The Light", with brilliant producer and all-around musician (not to mention Grammy-Award winner) Michael Leonhart. I'm apoplectically excited to work with Michael and to finally, officially, put this music out there. Stay tuned for updates about the CD and the CD release party, which will be in early 2008. I will be continuing my break from solo performances in order to focus on finishing "Leaning Towards The Light".

Much May Music - April 19, 2007

There's a lot going on in May... On Saturday, May 5th, I'll be returning to my favorite venue, Rockwood Music Hall... On Sunday, May 13th, I'll be the featured performer at the CATHARSIS Open Mic at Park Slope's Perch Cafe... And on Friday, May 18th, I'll be returning to The Living Room/Googie's Loungefor a triple bill starting at 8:30 pm with my dear friends Allison Tartalia and Denise Barbarita. There's sure to be some crazy collaborations, including ABBA's "Waterloo" (på svenska, naturligtvis)... See the CALENDAR section for all the details...

April News - April 1, 2007

April brings another show at The Living Room/Googie's Lounge on April 6th, and on April 18th, another chance to play tamboura with the amazing Steve Gorn at a benefit concert for Camphill Village.

March News - March 12, 2007

March brings a very exciting show for me: On Saturday, March 24th, I'll be accompanying bansuri flute virtuoso Steve Gorn and tabla master Naren Budhakar on the tamboura at a cosy loft concert at InHouse, hosted by Friends of New Music, Inc... On Friday, April 6th, I'll be returning to The Living Room's fabulous Googie's Lounge. My dear friend Denise Barbarita will be playing before me, and we're sure to collaborate on each other's songs... As always, please see the Calendar section for further details...

February News - February 1, 2007

February brings another show at Googie's Lounge Above The Living Room. This is a brand new venue, complete with a Yamaha white baby grand piano that would have made Liberace's heart go a-twitter. I'll be playing a double-bill with the ridiculously talented Allison Tartalia on Thursday, February 8th... As always, for further details please see the Calendar section...

January News - January 1, 2007

Drag yourself out from under your post-holiday, misanthropic stupor and check out my first show at Googie's Lounge Above The Living Room. This is a brand new venue, complete with a Yamaha white baby grand piano that would have made Liberace's heart go a-twitter. I'll be wearing all my rhinestone rings to make up for the lack of sunlight this time of year... As always, for further details please see the Calendar section...

December News - December 1, 2006

December brings the holidays, and Maggie's Music Salon will be fulfilling your every holiday musical craving... For the first time ever, all 11 members of Maggie's Music Salon will be performing together at the Parkside Lounge on December 10th, from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm. See the Calendar section for more details.

November News - November 1, 2006

November has finally brought cooler weather and colored leaves... and more music (how predictable).

I'll be at the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance Conference from November 10th-12th, and I'll be playing a number of showcases, including the Indiegrrl Guerilla Showcase, Pat Wictor's Manhattan Songwriters Circle guerilla showcase, Maggie's Music Salon guerilla showcase and the Quelles Sauvages guerilla showcase.

Then after I recover from the all-night jams at NERFA, I'll be heading up to the Peekskill Coffeehouse on November 18th with the amazing Martha Colby.

On November 29th, I'll join Meg Braun and Patrick Fitzsimmons at Night & Day/Biscuit BBQ in Park Slope, Brooklyn...

See the calendar section for more details...

October News - October 1, 2006

Happy Autumn! I've got a couple of shows this month... One with fellow Maggie's Music Saloners Victoria Lavington, Anna Dagmar and Martha Colby on October 6th at Peekskill Coffeehouse at 8:00 pm...
on Friday, October 20th, I will play tamboura, accompanying Hindustani classical vocalist Sounak Chatterjee. Naren Budhakar will play tabla...
and on Sunday, October 22nd, another show at my favorite venue Rockwood Music Hall, where I will be accompanied by the brave souls who dare to be a part of the QUELLES SAUVAGES and Miss Priss projects...

As always, you can find more details in the Calendar section...

September News - September 1, 2006

I've got a couple of shows coming right up... check out fellow Maggie's Music Salon gals Allison Tartalia and Kirsten Williams and myself in Schenectady, NY on September 16th... and don't miss my BIRTHDAY BASH at Rockwood Music Hall on Monday, September 18th at 7:00 pm... as always, see the Calendar section for more details...

August 2006 NEWS - August 19, 2006

Thanks to everyone who came out for the inaugural MAGGIE'S MUSIC SALON show at Night & Day!

I've got another MAGGIE'S show coming up on August 27th at the Heirloom Tomato and Music Festival. The line-up includes myself, Sharon Goldman, Kirsten Williams and Meg Braun.

...and put SEPTEMBER 18th on your calendar, 'cause that's my BIRTHDAY BASH at ROCKWOOD MUSIC HALL!
As always, see the CALENDAR section for more details...

CB's Oh Gee Bees - June 28, 2006

Thanks to all of you who came out to hear me open up for Sharon Goldman's CD release party! Play those kaYzoos in good health! And a grand shout out to my friend Rich Boniface, who, despite all advice to the contrary, will become a father before the year is through - congratulations Rich & Shana!!!

NIGHT IN THE CITY Looks Pretty To Me... - February 4, 2006

THANK YOU to everyone who came out at the midnight hour to make our Joni Mitchell tribute NIGHT IN THE CITY such a special evening. We raised nearly $600 for KATRINA'S PIANO FUND, which is helping New Orleans musicians get re-equipped with new instruments.

I feel honored to have been surrounded by such great musicians and such a great audience.

A very special thanks to John Kelly for revisiting Joni's persona for us, and to Rockwood Music Hall for letting us play until 4:00 am!

Rockwood Rocks! - January 2, 2006

THANK YOU to everyone who came to my show at Rockwood Music Hall on the penultimate day of 2005. I had a great time and I owe it all to you. :-)
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