Newcomers Ashlee Blankenship & Blades of Blue have released their debut recording this week on Mountain Fever Records. The self-titled CD was engineered and produced by Sammy Shelor, who also guests on banjo and lead guitar on selected tracks.
Young Miss Blankenship, and her equally youthful band, hail from southwestern Virginia, more specifically the fertile musical ground that includes Galax and Floyd counties. Ashlee handles lead vocals, with Josh Underwood on banjo, Dustin Pyrtle on guitar, Caleb Courtner on mandolin, and Travis Greer on bass. Pyrtle shares some lead vocal chores with Blankenship, and both he and Greer tackle the harmonies.
Ashlee has a lovely, girlish voice and it perfectly suits the contemporary material included on the album. It was cut with Shades of Blue, with help from Shelor, fiddle from Tim Crouch and reso-guitar from Mike Sharp.
The songs come from a number of current writers, Marvin Clark, Clay Hess, Wayne Winkle, Craig Market, Bryan Simpson, and John Pennell among them. One song, You Gotta Live It, comes from Ashlee herself.
You can sample all 12 tracks in the player below.
Judging on the exclamation mark scale, it seems that Ashlee is mightily stoked to see the CD hit.
“I’m very excited about the release of Blades of Blue’s debut album. I was fortunate enough to work with some amazing song writers and musicians. I couldn’t have asked for a better producer.
I sincerely hope listeners get as much enjoyment out of this record as we have recording it! Thank you Mountain Fever Records!!! Also, thanks to the DJs who play our music and to all the fans! Your support is truly appreciated!”
Radio programmers can download a copy for broadcast from Radio Submit.