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Ashley Davis, Joe’s Pub, NYC: It’s beautiful, let’s go roaming the wild mountainside February 23, 2012

Posted by Anton A in Ashley Davis, Irish music.
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Celtic singer Ashley Davis gave a delightful, captivating performance at Joe’s Pub. It was an intimate show in a small, comfortable room with excellent sight lines and great sound.

Ashley is a lass from Kansas who early in life became fascinated with the music of her ancestors, went to Ireland to study it, and has since become one of its foremost practitioners as a living art. She hops back and forth between traditional folk songs, old poems that she’s set to music, and songs that she’s written by herself and in collaboration. In concert, the songs seem to form part of one stream that’s been flowing on for centuries and remains present for anyone with a mind to dip in for refreshment and renewal.

The title of her latest recording, Songs Of The Celtic Winter, hints at the fact that Ashley has conceived a four-album cycle of songs inspired by each season of the year. This one is the first; we were treated to almost every song on the album. She transported us variously from moonlit skies to festive banquet halls and back to quiet wintry scenes.

Her voice rings pure and clear. She was accompanied beautifully by her band.




Cormac De Barra played the Celtic harp wonderfully.




Megan Hurt’s violin added haunting textures.




Two fellows on traditional stringed instruments and Irish percussion added to the mix. Gawain Mathews literally backed the ensemble on piano.



Together, the group wove one sonic tapestry after another that seemed to glimmer and linger in the room. There’s always been something in Celtic music beyond words that calls to my mongrel Scottish soul. Ashley and her band awakened that feeling in me once again, and for that I thank them sincerely.

More photos can be found here.