Jim Ashley is from the South Carolina Lowcountry; where storytellers are as plentiful as Spanish Moss hanging from Live Oak trees. He grew up surrounded by the traditional sounds of country, bluegrass, gospel, and blues music. As a teenager he became interested in rock music (or maybe obsessed is a better word). He began playing electric guitar, and played in several local rock bands. Over the years he gravitated more and more towards acoustic music. Influenced by singer-songwriters who are also storytellers, such as Arlo Guthrie, Todd Snider, Mike Cross, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, etc.; Jim began to blend their style of storytelling with the storytellers of the South Carolina Lowcountry, to create his own unique style. Ashley’s acoustic guitar is also a blend of a wide variety of influences: The boom-chick boom-chick of Johnny Cash, the stinging vibrato of BB King, the fiery single-note lead lines of Blackmore and Van Halen, delta blues licks, fingerpicking, and much more!
Jim’s lyrics often are often written from a working-man’s perspective. He is speaking from experience. As the song “An Honest Livin’” proclaims, he has “worked on construction site and in the textile mills... out in the fields, and on the factory floor”. His songs are not all work songs. They range from a song about an old shoe found beside the road, to a song about a guy who lives in a tree, to songs about being a long way from home, and of course, songs about love-gone-wrong. They can be sad, and they can be silly, very often both at once.