The package is deceiving; fresh-faced with a warm smile and gentle voice, singer-songwriter Ashley Robertson is a young woman with an already impressive amount of critical and international acclaim for her unique blend of country music storytelling, folky introspectiveness and bluegrass energy.
Born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Ashley’s interest in country music was sparked early by listening to her parent’s recordings of great artists such as Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash. As soon as she was old enough Ashley headed to Nashville and eventually enrolled in Belmont University’s famed Music Business program, where she majored in business administration, audio production and studied classical piano.
There in Nashville she met her first producer Allen Frizzell, brother of the legendary Lefty Frizzell. Ashley’s debut album was recorded at Hilltop Studios and released in 2003 to critical and international success. She became one of the youngest songwriters ever to have two solo written songs hit the top 100 at Canadian country radio with “Little League Tryouts” & “But He”, complete with a cross Canada radio tour and numerous trips to Europe and the U.K. to perform.
Her first internationally released single “Living In Misery” , co-written by Allen Frizzell & Bobby Taylor, gained the top spot on the American Independent, U.K. & European country charts and led to her winning 2005 European CMA Female Vocalist of the Year. The accompanying music video received play on CMT Canada and the Country Music Channel of Australia.
She again topped the Independent, European & UK country charts in 2006 with her self-written bluegrass single “A Letter” and began earnest work writing and recording her sophomore album. According to Larry Delaney of Country Music News she “steps into full control of the project by writing all of the songs, and producing.”
Ashley graduated from Belmont University and released her second album “Woman in the White Dress” in Fall 2008. It was recorded at Hilltop Studios in Nashville with John Nicholson at the helm. Ashley was subsequently invited to perform for the prestigious “Songwriter’s Cafe” during the Canadian Country Music Association’s Awards week in her hometown of Winnipeg that September. She recently toured Australia in January 2011 and performed at the legendary Tamworth Country Music Festival.
Two more singles “Deep in the Night” & “Woman in the White Dress” from the album of the same name are Ashley’s third and fourth number one hits to become a smash on country radio in several nations, including number one on the National Aboriginal Top 30 Countdown in Canada, and taking the top spot on the European CMA’s official Pan-Europe Country Radio chart.
Ashley’s other releases include “Back In Manitoba”, a special tribute song recorded and released for the Manitoba 2010 Homecoming celebration and “Return To Me” , a single which reached the number 2 spot on the European country charts at the end of 2010 and was named as one of the top played country songs of 2011 by CountryBear.
The song “Woman in the White Dress”, written by Ashley, also became part of the soundtrack for the indie film “Compliance”, handpicked by director Craig Zobel. The film debuted at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and got picked up by Magnolia Pictures for wide release.
“Finished With You” is her newest that is quickly garnering amazing amounts of international airplay from her third forthcoming studio album. It already rocketed up the charts in several nations and continues to climb as the first success from the new album “Start Again”.
In the end, Ashley’s heart lies with the rich songwriting tradition of country music combined with the introspectiveness of folk and the energy of bluegrass. Her gently powerful voice eases you along and portrays soulfulness beyond her years. Lesson learned; don’t be deceived by the youthful package, Ashley Robertson is a gifted singer-songwriter with “ample touches of hurt, passion and soul”.