RECORD LABEL:Mountain Home Music Company
Even in bluegrass, it’s rare for an artist to go more than 20 years between a first release and a second, but it’s only one of the ways in which singer/songwriter/mandolinist Ashby Frank stands out from the crowd. For that second release, the North Carolina-raised, Nashville-based musician has signed an exclusive recording contract with Mountain Home Music Company. The announcement comes simultaneously with news of its first single, a powerful reading of Peter Rowan’s early 90s classic, “Midnight Highway.”
Since his arrival in Nashville in the early part of the century, Frank has served in a stunning variety of settings, ranging from the Special Consensus, the Marty Raybon Band, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, the Mashville Brigade and the Earls of Leicester to John Cowan’s HercuLeons, the Likely Culprits and his current main gig, Mountain Heart. He’s scored as a songwriter, too, penning songs for Junior Sisk, Amanda Cook, Dale Ann Bradley, Lindley Creek and more, and even taken on the world of comedy as a member of the Darrell Brothers. Yet even as he continues to burnish his reputation as one of Music City’s most valuable collaborators, Frank is taking the next step forward.
“I could have never created this album without the help of lots of friends that I’ve been fortunate enough to work with over the last several decades,” he says. “The final product is an eclectic collection of the kind of music that I have enjoyed writing, arranging, and performing for the last twenty-three years on the road and in the studio. I am so excited to be releasing this album with the team at Mountain Home Records. I genuinely feel at home on Mountain Home, because I know they see the vision I have for the music I want to share with the world. The hardest step in any career path is often the first step, and I know that this is the first of many steps on a wonderful new journey. I am so very proud of this album, and so extremely grateful for everyone that helped me get here.”
Adds Mountain Home’s Jon Weisberger, “As a long-time admirer of Ashby’s many talents, I’m thrilled that Mountain Home will be partnering with him while he moves into a well-deserved spotlight as a recording artist. He’s recording some great music, and we can’t wait to share it with the world.”
That process begins with the May 27th release of “Midnight Highway.” Featuring a harmony vocal from John Cowan and an all-star cast of musicians—Frank’s Mountain Home bandmates Seth Taylor (guitar) and bassist Travis Anderson (bass), banjoist Matt Menefee, Gaven Largent (dobro), fiddler Jim VanCleve and Josh Hunt (drums)—this version offers a fresh take on classic newgrass sounds, with Frank’s confidently soaring vocals seizing center stage, relinquishing it only for brief solo turns from Largent and VanCleve.
“I thought it was fitting for the first single from the first solo album that I’ve recorded since I was a teenager to be a song that I grew up listening to and have always loved. The first time I heard Peter Rowan’s original version of ‘Midnight Highway’ was when I was around 15 years old. I was somewhere in North Carolina with my buddy Jim VanCleve in his old Honda Civic, going to a fiddler’s convention or picking party, and the song has stuck with me ever since then. Having Jim on this track so many years later makes it even more special for me. I hope we did it justice!”
KEY SELLING POINTS
- Born in North Carolina, now Nashville-based songwriter and musician, Ashby Frank, has solidified his status as a household bluegrass/acoustic music name—at least from within the recording/writing community at-large
- Frank is one of the most recent signees with the vaulted Mountain Home Music Company (May 2022)
- Frank has served in a stunning variety of settings, ranging from the Special Consensus, the Marty Raybon Band, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, the Mashville Brigade and the Earls of Leicester to John Cowan’s HercuLeons, the Likely Culprits and his current main gig, Mountain Heart