Alexandria, LA native Jason Ashley's start in music was less than stellar when, as a third grader, he took the stage at North Bayou Rapides Elementary School to sing "When You Wish upon a Star". In his own words he "bombed and promised I would never sing again." However, the trauma of that first public performance did not last long. Two years later Mrs. Gayle Roach, ("I'll never forget her") a Lincoln Road 6th Grade teacher saw something special in Jason and gave him his first solo in a school play. The next few years were filled with promise as he continually received the highest rating possible for solo ensembles. "It was like getting a perfect 10 in the Olympics," remarks Jason.
Throughout his high school career he continued to work on his craft, writing and performing constantly and entering competitions whenever possible. Shortly after graduating from high school at the age of 17, Jason entered the Jimmy Dean Country Music Showdown in his hometown and his performance earned him second place. While not winning first place might have dashed others' hopes, it only served to stoke the fire for Jason. He spent the next two years touring with his band, performing for crowds throughout Louisiana and Mississippi.
Always a man with a compassionate heart, Jason donated his talent and time whenever he could, something that continues to be very important to him. A local radio station scheduled a concert to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital as a part of their local radio-thon. They asked Jason if he would agree to open for a new artist on BNA Records named Mindy McCready. After his performance he was introduced to producer David Malloy, who produced McCready and others, including the legendary Eddie Rabbit. Malloy asked Jason if he would be interested in moving to Nashville to work with him. Jason replied, "my bags are already packed," and a few months later he was a Nashville resident.
During his time in Nashville, Jason worked in the studio with David, sang demos for famed songwriter Michael Garvin and others, and worked on his songwriting. He performed at many of Nashville's hottest clubs and always kept his eye on the brass ring.
Then came the call from his father that his mother had become deathly ill. Over the three years that would follow, Jason would make the drive from Nashville to Louisiana many times. On one of those many drives, he felt that God was telling him that he needed to move back home. He made the decision to put his music career on hold, and in November of 2002, he moved back to Alexandria. Then just five months later tragedy struck. On March 18, 2003, Jason lost his mother.
When he reflects on those five short months, Jason knows how precious that time was, and he would not have traded it for anything. But he also knew that his mother would want him to continue to follow his dream, and shortly after her passing, Jason was standing in the kitchen in his parents' home and spotted a baseball trophy that made it clear to him. The letters on the trophy spelt out the word RISK and underneath was written simply,
"You'll never get to second base with your foot stuck on first." He saw that brass ring in front of him again, and he took the leap of faith he knew he would always have to take.
He began calling friends and acquaintances in Nashville, and a short time later producer/engineer, longtime friend, Kelly Schoenfeld and producer Dave Fowler agreed to team up with Jason on a new CD. Jason returned to Nashville and then met with Kelly and the three began to search for songs for the new project.
They decided on four songs from Jason's catalogue, "Walkin' In The Rain", "Handle With Care", "That Man" and "Spurs Over Stetsons" (co-written with Kathy Rogers and Matt Wood). Six more songs from Nashville's best writers were chosen including the classic "Quittin' Time" co-written by old friend Michael Garvin and originally recorded in 1985 by the late Keith Whitley on his break through release LA to Miami. With the songs chosen the trio moved into Jack Gavin's Rising Sun Studios to cut the tracks. Then it was on to Kelly's Studio, The Velvet Room, to record vocals, overdubs and mix the project.
With work in the studio completed it was time to put together a new band, renew his old acquaintances in the new bayou and head out on the road again. In just over two years of solid touring Jason Ashley and his band "The Twangsters Union" have performed to more than 85,000 people, playing packed houses and festivals throughout the south east including the Uncle Sam Jam in Alexandria, La, the prestigious Natchitoches Jazz Festival, always crazy Contraband Days in Lake Charles, the Rabbit Festival of Iowa Louisiana, the GladeWater Texas Rodeo, the Marshland Festival in Lake Charles Louisiana and certainly not least twice has been a feature act for the James Burton International Guitar Festival.
Jason Ashley is an artist who is determined to succeed. He is an artist with the Voice, and can actually sing live, a rare thing in this day and age.
Jason has over 17 years Stage Experience -Jason knows how to send a crowd on an emotional roller coaster that will have them happy and sad all in the same show. He has learned the formula and is proud to say he learned it from one of the largest night clubs in the business, Cowboys Dance Hall in the DFW metroplex. He performs the Arlington, Texas Location on a nightly basis. Jason has performed in each of their locations, which include San Antonio and Dallas Texas
An Emotionally Sound Artist – because you are investing your money you should know that Jason will not get out on the road and “fall apart.” He understands the balance of this life. Admittedly he has learned the hard way, but he has learned, and now knows how to balance the fans and still balance a healthy home life.
An artist who writes – co-wrote “Sinners Like Me” and also won an award in 2007 for Texas Songwriter of the Year. (The Terry Awards – for the song “Handle with Care”) off his first independent released project “Coming Up Clean” released in 2005. Jason penned 4(four) tracks off that project.
I believe a person with a platform to speak from, has duty to speak well. I promise you, and all of my fans, that I will be not only a person of integrity, but create music which reflects that. Through my journey I continually remind myself that I am a unique creature that God has made, he gave me a very special gift, the gift of music. A song has power like nothing else on this planet; a song has the ability to shake a person to their very core. A song can help someone say what they just aren’t able to, but most importantly a song has the ability to produce a desire to become a better person.
Although, the product and the person are two separate things, they are deeply intertwined. The product is not just a “widget,” but a reflection into the soul of the creator (the person). I have always believed in the power of music. Any written word has the ability to influence you, but the power of song can penetrate the most hardened soul. As a believer in my Lord Jesus Christ, I believe it to be my duty to help initiate that change. If you have received this proposal, then you have the ability to help further my reach; I truly hope that you do.
Jason has two songs in the top 100 released independently.. "Country Girl" & "Ice Cold Beer" while songs co-written by Joe Nichols "6:31" a haunting ballad always crowd favorite.. but locally Jason has become known for his self pinned song "Handle With Care" this has catapulted him into a favorite South Eastern regional act.