Interview by Scott Preston
Buckle Up Music Festival 7/18 – 7/20
Ashley Martin performs at 7:15pm on 7/18
National touring country rock artist Ashley Martin was born and raised in Central Ohio. She attended Belmont University in Nashville Tennessee. After releasing her first E.P. she now has a new full length record that just released last month called “Put On A Show” She has worked with many hit writers and opened for known artists such as ZZ Top, Tracy Lawrence, The Band Perry and Brett Eldridge. She is very hard working and dedicated to her music and family of fans. Her country sound and rock n’ roll attitude, set her apart. She’s got love for country power divas like Reba and Carrie Underwood, but can’t deny her passion for Paramore and Halestorm. Martin and her band travel all over, ensuring a raucous rocking good time, that’ll have you falling in love with her amazing vocals and keep you dancing all night long! (from ashleymartinmusic.com)
Cincy Groove: When did you start singing?
Ashley Martin: My dad is the youngest of 7 brothers and sisters. My grandma was on the piano and my grandpa was directing. Everyone sings or plays an instrument. I had my first solo with my family choir at age 6.
Cincy Groove: You seem to have a busy tour schedule. Do you enjoy being on the road?
Ashley Martin: It really depends on who is in the van. Thank god I have cool group traveling with me. Its always fun even when we are tired and hungry, nobody gets mad or causes trouble.
Cincy Groove: Do you ever get to do any sight-seeing?
Ashley Martin: This will be the first trip where we will actually get to go to the beach for a few hours (laughing).
Cincy Groove: Did you have a good time at CMA Fest this year?
Ashley Martin: CMA Fest is always crazy. Thousands and thousands of people are in one block of honky tonks. It was pretty painless for us getting our van to where we were performing. The police even brought us right up to the venue so we could load up.
Cincy Groove: Who are some of your idols?
Ashley Martin: I love Garth Brooks, Reba McIntyre. I got to see Reba recently with Keith Urban and Vince Gill. They had never rehearsed, they just played. They were the backing band for Carrie Underwood.
Cincy Groove: Are you working on a new album?
Ashley Martin: I think we will start recording in August. We have all the songs ready, just need to get into the studio. We are just so busy with touring during the summer that its really hard to get anything done in the studio.
Cincy Groove: What has been one of the stranger experiences you have had on the road?
Ashley Martin: Last week we had a strange experience. I pulled up to our hotel and locked it, but didn’t know there was a drunk girl passed out in the van. The girl that runs our merch asked me if I got the girl out of the van. I said “What are you talking about?” I had no idea. Brian, my bass player thought she had taken a cab. We went and checked and there she was passed out.
Cincy Groove: I know you were singing in the choir at a young age, but when did you start performing by yourself?
Ashley Martin: This guy from my church gave me this whole system. An 8 channel mixing board, 2 of the heaviest speakers I have ever lifted and these solid steel speaker stands. Its funny because all I would plug into this huge system was my mic. I would get paid $75 an hour to sing for half asleep people in nursing homes. My first time on an actual stage I was 12 years old singing in this competition. I ended up forgetting the first words to the first verse. I practiced so much that I psyched myself out. But I recovered and by the time I was done, I received a standing ovation.
Cincy Groove: What advice would you give to a an artist just starting out?
Ashley Martin: Its all about your work ethic. If your lazy and are expecting that call from Epic records , its not going to happen. You really have to put yourself out there and work constantly and never give up.