One of the most appealing aspects of the bluegrass community to me has always been the highly participatory nature of the scene. When you pull into a festival, odds are that the guy parking cars plays mandolin in a local band, the sound crew also have a group, and the girl taking tickets and handing out armbands plays fiddle and sings. And even among the fans in the seats, a goodly portion have taken a stab at guitar or banjo lessons, and would love to have more time to dedicate to the music.
In a similar manner, almost all of us at Bluegrass Today play bluegrass and have given over a lot of time and effort to learn how to do it well. Owing to its somewhat limited market size, many pro level artists only pursue their muse on a part time basis, but it is never far from their minds.
Take Ashley Lewis, our Sales Manager. We first met her through a CD she released several years ago, and while we depend on her professionalism and attention to detail in working with our clients, we never forget that she is also a powerhouse singer, songwriter, and mandolinist.
So we were delighted to learn last week that she is releasing a new single with her band, Legacy. Surprisingly, not one of her songs, but a cover from the mega hair band of the 1980s, a grassy reworking of Bon Jovi’s #1 hit, You Give Love A Bad Name, from 1986. It takes on a different feel with an acoustic treatment, and a female vocalist, but everyone who has survived the ’80s will get a chuckle out of their take, and find your head bobbing along with the track.
Ashley is supported by Jon Mollenhauer on guitar, Teresa Fry on bass, and Doug Knecht, on banjo. She likes to dedicate this recording to Doug, who has been going through some health issues of late, but still found time to engineer and produce the single, and lay down some killer banjo. And that it was his idea to grassify this song in the first place.
Have a listen in this photo collage video.