Shannon is a passionate country fan who enjoys getting to know the artists and their music. She also loves spreading joy through interviews.
Charismatic. That’s how I was told Ashley Jordan is often described. When I got the chance to chat with her, it didn’t take long to find out that’s a very accurate description of her personality. And her music is equally fascinating. It’s hard to find a word that encompasses the uniqueness of her voice coupled with her music, which others have said gives off a Janis Joplin kind of vibe. She’s country, pop, folk, and rock all at the same time.
Ashley has been performing since she was barely a teenager, ever since she talked her parents into taking her to Harvard Square in Cambridge for a public performance that changed her life. Just her, the street corner, her guitar, and those who enjoyed listening to her music. She released her first original album around the age of 16. Since then, she has released three more albums and opened for some of the most notable acts in the music industry, including Trace Adkins and Jimmie Allen. In 2015, she received a first-round Grammy nomination for her song “Angels.” She has also won Country Music Artist of the Year at the Boston Music Awards.
Ashley will soon be releasing a fifth studio album and her latest single is called “Still Hear Him Talking.” It’s an intensely personal song, but her team believed others would relate to it as well. You can hear the emotion behind the lyrics in every single word she sings. It’s a song inspired by the loss of both of her maternal grandparents recently. Her grandpa had encouraged her to pursue her dream of being a musician. The song is about how she can still hear his voice giving her positive affirmations. Take a listen to it while you learn more about Ashley and her music as you read what she shares about herself and her career. She's an artist worth getting to know and watch.
"Still Hear Him Talking"
Getting to put it out there was emotional and healing as well. While covid was taking so many things from us, it felt like a blessing in disguise.
— Ashley Jordan, speaking about her lates single release "Still Hear Him Talking"
Shannon Henry: Please share the story behind “Still Hear Him Talking” (Is this your second single this year?)
Ashley Jordan: It’s my first single from my new album. I’m super excited about it because it was one I took into the studio not really thinking it was going to be one we would record because it was such a personal song for me and a last-minute addition. My producer was like “Ash, we gotta put that one on there!" I wasn’t sure how people would react to it or how well they would receive it, but it ended up being a soulful recording. An emotional one.
SH: How has Covid changed anything for you?
AJ: It’s changed a lot. I’m sure a lot of other artists can attest to this. The live performance situation is different. Everything from March onward, the festivals and big shows have been canceled and we’ve had to make the switch over to virtual shows to try to stay connected with fans. The blessing was being able to complete the album in time and being able to put it out in time.
So the song was good timing to put it out there for help getting through a dark place. I just felt like we’ve received a really good response from fans being able to relate to not giving up when things feel helpless. It was hard because I was close to my grandparents and they’ve supported me with my music. Getting to put it out there was emotional and healing as well. While covid was taking so many things from us, it felt like a blessing in disguise.
Put your whole heart and authentic self into whatever you do.
— Ashely Jordan
SH: What sets you apart from others in the industry?
AJ: I would say my genre is a little bit different. I definitley came from the singer-songwriter side of things, folk. My music is definitely a cross over, the emotional side. And some of it is my sassy side, the country rover-outlaw chick. You never know what you’ll get. Full-on country ballad or a rocker, stomp your foot kind of song.
SH: What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
AJ: I had two mentors growing up when I was learning to play guitar and songwrite. One of them I’d seen at all these venues performing. I asked him, "would you teach me to play with the passion you have?" and he said "absolutely." I ended up working with him and his producer. Both of them told me that when you get on that stage, play like it’s the last time you’ll ever play even if there is only one person in the audience or an empty chair. So every time I was nervous on stage, I would just think about both of them saying that and then focus on nothing else but the song and sing with passion and focus like it was the last time I’d ever get to sing it. Like Lori McKenna. She is an incredible songwriter and performer when she sings. I’ve seen her so many times. That’s the one thing that always moved me about her. She puts everything into the song and you can hear a pin drop in the room.
SH: The worst piece of advice you've ever received?
AJ: A lot of people say fake it until you make it and I’ve felt like that was never good advice to me. I feel like you should be true to yourself and authentic because everyone has an opinion. Like, you should try to sing like this person or look like this person and I feel like people should like me for me. And that’s my song-writing style as well. If it’s tough to say, I want to say it in a song. I feel like real, real, real means more to fans and to yourself. Put your whole heart and authentic self into whatever you do.
"Drink Some Whiskey"
I would describe my new album as emotional storytelling and then somewhere along the way, I had enough and put my foot down with a country-rock song.
— Ashley Jordan, talking about her latest album
SH: How would you describe your sound? Who influenced you and how did you develop it?
AJ: I think it’s definitely transformed over the years from so many influences. Eric Church, Chris Stapleton, Lori McKenna...they’ve all inspired me to be in my own space in country music. I would describe my new album as emotional storytelling and then somewhere along the way, I had enough and put my foot down with a country-rock song. I’m so grateful to my producer for letting me be myself and do the outlaw type songs and then scale back to more artful singer-songwriter storytelling type songs with acoustics.
SH: What’s on your musical career bucket list?
AJ: One of the big ones is getting to either tour or do a song with Garth Brooks or Trace Adkins. I’ve met Garth before and I think he is the nicest, down to earth guy. That would be the coolest thing ever.
I would love to give a shoutout to my producers Husky (Jeff Huskins). He’s such a bright light and really brought my songs to life at Sound Stage Studios in Nashville. It was one of the best experiences of my life. So a big shout out to him! And to Tommy Colbert, who filmed the “Hear Him Talking” video. He is the reason the video happened
— Ashley Jordan
SH: How have you used your influence as a songwriter and a performer to make a difference, not just during the pandemic but in general?
AJ: Something that’s been really important to us is our causes. We do a lot with our local animal shelter. We also have a tight-knit relationship with first responders and the veteran's organization. An organization called “Beauhawk Foundation”, which works with children who suffer from Duchenne muscular dystrophy. We’ve been helping to raise funds and awareness to do testing and research for everyone affected by this. They’re doing things like gene therapy. We’ve been helping the North East animal shelter in Massachusetts and one called When the Going Gets Ruff, which is where I got my german shepherd from a few months ago. We do things like Deck the Paws concerts and donate toys and things. We took things up to Maine after we did the event. They do so much and it was cut and fun seeing all the puppies. It’s very important for us to get to be a part of our community and work with different organizations.
SH: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
AJ: I would love to give a shoutout to my producers Husky (Jeff Huskins). He’s such a bright light and really brought my songs to life at Sound Stage Studios in Nashville. It was one of the best experiences of my life. So a big shout out to him! And to Tommy Colbert, who filmed the “Hear Him Talking” video. He is the reason the video happened. He just decided to organically film everything in the studio and that’s how it came to be. He thought it would be cool to show that in a music video.
Just For Fun:
SH: What stereotype do you live up to?
AJ: Probably the country girl type of thing...y'all and all that stuff. I tend to talk in that type of accent. I don’t even know where it comes from. Maybe my mom, who is from Kansas City, MO. She says some funny things sometimes. She says things like “y'all wanna get some salad fixin’s?”
SH: Name a food combination you love but most others find the thought of disgusting.
AJ: I’m such a hot sauce fiend. I’ll put hot sauce on a normal meal and people just stare at me like I ruined a perfectly good meal instead of making it better.
SH: You’ve been cryogenically frozen for 100 years, but you just woke up. What’s the first thing you said?
AJ: I think at first I’d be like “Wait, what year is it? Where am I? Where’s my family and where are my dogs?”
SH: You’ve reached a crossroads. One path leads to what appears to be a dark, gloomy forest. The other leads to a desert with no oasis in sight. Which path do you choose and why?
AJ: I think I would choose the dark, gloomy one because it sounds more mysterious and possibly harder. The hardest path is on the way to victory!
SH: It sounds like you like a challenge
"Smoke On This Gun"
To learn more about Ashley Jordan and to hear more of her music, click the links below.
- Ashley Jordan Official Website
The official site of singer / songwriter Ashley Jordan with tour dates, news, photos, music, videos, store, and more.
- Ashley Jordan - YouTube
"Sweet and sultry, that's Ashley Jordan's voice. She's a country/folk singer from the little residential town of Harvard, MA who strapped a guitar to her bac...
- Country Music Notes
Find more information about and interviews with Ashley Jordan here.
"New England Tears (Boston Strong)"
The Record By USRN Chats with Ashley Jordan
© 2020 Shannon Henry
Shannon Henry (author) from Texas on November 10, 2020:
Thanks! Glad you enjoyed her. Pleasant distractions are great.
A B Williams from Central Florida, USA on November 10, 2020:
Another winner! Miss Ashley is a winner and your interview is a winner, Shannon!
This is a nice distraction...from other things! ;)
Shannon Henry (author) from Texas on November 09, 2020:
Thank you, Pamela. I agree that she has a beautiful voice! Glad you enjoyed it.
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on November 09, 2020:
Ashley's voice is beautiful and I really like her new song, “Still Hear Him Talking”. Getting the chance to do an interview like this is awesome, Shannon.
Shannon Henry (author) from Texas on November 09, 2020:
Thanks, Bill. I'd sure hate to stay static. How boring would that be? LOL. Plus, it helps when the person being interviewed is such a pleasure to interact with. That's what I love about country music artists.
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on November 09, 2020:
Nice job, getting a Grammy nominee to sit down for an interview, and well done on this article/interview. I found it very interesting and a pleasure to read. You are evolving as a writer, my friend.