Flood

Like many others here in Middle Tennessee, my home was flooded after the record rains this past weekend. In my neighborhood we had 18-20 inches of rain in the first two days of May, making it the wettest May in recorded history… only in the first two days.
My sister who was in town while I was out on the road playing with Alecia Nugent managed to save all of my instruments, PC and vital records. Thanks Jennie!

I had 6 inches of water in my house, and 2 feet in my garage. I lost a good bit of “stuff”, and there’s some structural problems that will take me a long time to fix and pay for, but the main thing is that I’m safe, my sister’s safe, my roommate Thomas Wywrot is safe, and my dog Cricket is safe! I’m very lucky. Just one street down (towards the Harpeth River) from me looks like a war zone or worse. I have been told that my house was one of the last ones in this direction to get any water, and that this was a thousand year flood. Glad to know I won’t be around for the next one!

I am lucky enough to have great friends that have helped me clean up, and many more that have offered help even when I had a full house of people helping already. I have water, electricity, food, and just got my internet back today. In fact, the great AT&T technician that came to my house today to replace my damaged equipment told me that he doesn’t have water, phone, or internet at his house in rural Hickman County to the South of here. On top of all of that, the bridge that was on his way home from work collapsed last night.

There are quite a few people here in Nashville that lost everything, and some people even lost their lives. I cannot describe to you what Bellevue, the usually beautiful and peaceful suburb I live in looks like right now. I will post some pictures later, but it’s really mind blowing. The national news and federal government have had bigger things on their plate that have kept them from making a huge deal out of what’s happened to Nashville, but it is catastrophic.

The Opry House, Opry Mills, and the Opryland Hotel (the largest non-casino hotel in the world) are still under water as I type this two days after the storm. The Country Music Hall of Fame, our new Symphony Hall, Bridgestone Arena ( Home of the NHL Predators), LP Field (Titans Stadium), Meto Government Center, numerous malls, businesses, churches, and homes all took on various amounts of water.

I’m asking you as my friends to  please donate whatever you can to the Nashville Red Cross. People were being rescued BY BOAT  just several miles from me just yesterday. There are people without places to stay, and without food to eat. They need your help.

By the way, the good people of Logan’s Roadhouse (which is Nashville based), have set up a food trailer in my neighborhood to feed the volunteers and victims. If there’s one in your area, please patronize them and thank them for all they’re doing here in town.

Also, go ahead and make plans to visit Nashville a few months from now. We’re going to need your tourist money! (and would it hurt so bad to consider the Mashville Brigade for your festival next year, or give Thomas Wywrot’s new CD “Every Time I Walk This Road” a spin at your radio station?) 🙂 Only half-way kidding….

In all seriousness, thanks for all the well wishes and offers of help that I’ve received. I’m doing as well as could be expected. PLEASE remember to donate to the Nashville Red Cross!

I’ll update again ASAP.

Ready for a diet buster?

http://bluebell.com/IceCreamFlavors/SouthernBlackberryCobbler.html
This warmer Tennessee Spring weather has been great, and I’ve been enjoying it here in Nashville this week. The more I’m outside, the more I want some ice cream! I need a Blue Bell Sponsorship! I’d be a great spokesman.

The Pistachio Almond is  really good too. Go find some and enjoy this Spring weather if it’s warm where you are!

Opry Tonight

I’ll be performing on the Grand Ole Opry with Dale Ann Bradley tonight! Show times are 7 and 9:30PM CST. Check out Opry.com if you want to see a schedule of performers and listen in live on 650 AM or http://www.wsmonline.com .

Facebook

Hello friends!
I’ve been busy with little projects here and there, with a USO tour with some friends of mine coming up next month that I’m excited about. I’ll tell ya more about that later.
Just wanted to let everyone know that I’ve created a Facebook Artist page that you can find by clicking here.

I have 999 fans right now! Thanks!

Congrats to Junior Sisk and Rambler’s Choice!

I’m very happy to report that “Blue Side of the Blue Ridge” won album of the year last night at the SPBGMA Awards in Nashville! I’m very proud to have a song included on the project! Way to go Junior and band!

Also, congrats to some friends that I’ve been working with a little bit lately, Josh Williams (Guitar Player of the Year) and Alecia Nugent (Female Vocalist of the Year)!

Off to Scotland again!

Since I last posted, I’ve been doing this and that here and there… January’s always a slow month for musicians!

I was fortunate enough to be invited by my friend Josh Williams to perform with his band at the Loveless Cafe’s Donna the Buffalo New Year’s Party, and I had a blast! Met some new folks, and ate some good chicken!

The Loveless Cafe is pretty close to where I live here in Nashville, and is famous for it’s Chicken and Biscuits. While the biscuits can’t compete with my mom’s (seriously), they were good enough to be part of the “Biscuit Throwdown” on the Food Network. I was a happy camper! Get to pick good music with Josh, Randy, and Jason, and eat! Good New Year’s!

The first official Mashville road show in Lebanon, VA that was scheduled for the next weekend,  had to be called off due to weather. I’ll be sure and let everyone know when it’s rescheduled.

So this week…I’m picking with Mashville tonight,  writing a little bit this week, and then on Saturday it’s off to Scotland to perform with my former old-boss-lady, Alecia Nugent. 🙂

We’re doing a BBC taping on Monday, then performing for the Celtic Connections crowd on Tuesday! I’m really looking forward to it. Anybody have any suggestions on what to do when in Glasgow? Be sure and let me know!
I hope yall are staying warm this frigid winter! Cya on down the road…

Merry Christmas!

Well my last trip with Special C was an adventure. Had a great time with our friends in Wyoming, Colorado and Montana, and had another bus break down along with way. All is well though!
I’m taking some time off for Christmas and hope that all of you have a great holiday season!

Just as a note, there will be no Mashville Brigade show at the Station Inn this coming Tuesday (Dec. 22nd).

If any of you guys are near Lebanon, Virginia we will be playing our first road show there on January 8th! Come see us.

Changes and updates!

Well, it’s been a while since I posted here. Sorry about that! I’ve been busy with things at home, and have been pretty busy on the road, too. The last few weeks have had me in Florida, Pennsylvania, and New York.

I’m pretty excited about going home for Thanksgiving this week, but of course I’ll be at Mashville on Tuesday before I leave. I hope I’ll see you there too!

After the Thanksgiving weekend, I’ll be leaving out with Special C for a week long tour of Wyoming, Montana, and Colorado. Another long drive, but it’s always nice to visit my friends in that part of the world.

The big news (at least in my world)  is that trip will be my last tour as a member of the Special Consensus.
I’ve had a blast being a part of the band for the last two and a half years, and working with Special C has allowed me to see parts of the world that I’ve never seen before and become known as a singer and songwriter. I greatly appreciate the opportunity Greg Cahill gave me to be associated with the Special C, and the friendships that have been created as a result of my time with the band. I’ll miss you guys, and wish you much success!

I feel like it’s time for me to start pursuing my own path in the music world, and I’m pretty excited about the road in front of me! We’ve already booked shows for the Mashville Brigade on the road for 2010, and hopefully will be adding more in the near future. On top of that I’ll be writing more, and hopefully performing as a freelance musician with other bands. I will also be getting started on my long delayed recording project in the near future, so all of you songwriters out there email me at ashby (AT SYMBOL) ashbyfrank.com if you have some songs to send my way.

Look for more info on what I’m up to right here on my site, and keep your eyes open for the Mashville Brigade in 2010!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Back in Nashville

I’m back home again after almost 2 weeks of continuous travel in planes, boats, buses, trains, and a van.

The remaining two shows after my last post here were a lot of fun and were very well received… a great way to end the trip!

I had been to the venue we played in Germany before, and the crowd’s enthusiasm didn’t dissipate from our last visit there over 2 years ago. We were practically sold out of band CD’s after the show, and some of the band’s friends from around the area treated us to some awesome food and hospitality afterwards. Thank you!

The Czech Republic was a new place for me. It’s a beautiful country, with really nice and hospitable people. A few minutes after we crossed the border, a country music station came through on the radio.  After 11 days of hearing nothing but American, British, and German pop on almost every radio station, it was pretty strange to hear Johnny Cash covers in Czech mixed with original country classics in English! Even though the English language was spoken far less there than most of the other places we went, you can sense an appreciation for traditional and acoustic music in the people there… and what an awesome bluegrass community of pickers and singers!

Sometimes I feel a good bit ignorant and lost when I travel to a new place, and they can speak a little bit of English and I can’t speak any word of the local language. It’s hard not to feel pretty stupid when you go in a store and start pointing at things and counting change very slowly! Every time I’ve been in that circumstance, the locals have been so nice and helpful. So I take that as a lesson… be nice and give directions to people that aren’t familiar with their surroundings when you can! You never know when you’ll wind up in the same boat(or train, bus, van, or plane)!

We had a little bit of delay in getting back, and I’m still lagged quite a bit from the 20 hours or so of airports and layovers yesterday so I’ll have to keep this story short and sweet.

Thanks to all of the bluegrass music fans in Europe for making this tour possible! Hope to see you again soon.

Next week it’s Mashville Brigade at the Station Inn on Tuesday, and then Special C’s off to Waldo, Florida!

Two Days in Switzerland!

After our train ride to Copenhagen we rode the long road to the Netherlands, had two shows there and had a good time. Even though we were pretty tired from all the riding and moving around to get there, it was a really nice place to visit. Nice hospitable folks there… but beware! Our hosts introduced us to these waffle and caramel cookies called Stroopwafles, and now we’re all addicted to them! I’m going to have to go on a serious diet when I get home.

Anyway, we made the long van ride from Holland here to Switzerland yesterday and got here just in time to eat dinner and play a little show in Lausen (right outside of Basil) and then we got a good night’s sleep. In attendance at our gig last night was a professional classical guitarist that grew up just about 15 or 20 miles away from where I grew up in North Carolina, and has lived in Europe for 40 years since he graduated from the School of the Arts in Winston-Salem. I guess there’s Tarheels everywhere! Small world!

I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but for this trip we’re in a decent sized van that’s a little larger than the ones we have rented on previous trips. Still it’s still pretty cramped for all of these 5-8 hour trips. Vehicles are much smaller on average here in Europe, so I guess we’re lucky that we’re in something that we can all fit in. At least we’re not in this:
tinycar
Now we’re spending the afternoon before our show at a friend of the band’s house. This is the first time we’ve had Wifi in a few days, so we’ve turned her dining room into a computer lab.

After our show in Feuerthalen, Switzerland tonight, we’ll be back in Germany for a show in Bochum, then our last show will be in the Czech Republic. Never been there before, so I’m looking forward to it!

I’m having a great time here, but after 8 days I’m starting to look forward to going home and being in my own bed, not having to travel hours and hours every other day, and not trying to figure out what kind of money I’ve got and how much I’m spending! We’ve been on four currencies so far, and one more to go!

Regardless, it’s nice to be here reporting to you from Switzerland! Maybe I’ll get one more update in before I go home.