Ashley Beck, a.k.a, Den of Ashes, comes from a deep tradition in music as the grandson of 1930’s to 50’s era Country & Western entertainers, John and “Texas Peggy” Clemens, know as the The Wyoming Ramblers. They toured and shared friendships with The Carter Family, Tex Ritter, Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash.
As the musical landscape ever evolves, we see a new emergence of the Western music influences showing up on the music scene today. Den of Ashes’ is making his contribution clear with his recent album, California. It’s Ash getting back to his roots with, “a story-driven, tonal exploration into the vast solitude of the West and the Western spirit, both past and present.”
The New York to Virginia, to California artist remembers growing up with the influence of the New York folk music scene – coming out of the Woodstock era of music – and then moving to Virginia. “It was a culture shock,” Beck said, “but that music leaves an impression on you,” as he remembers events like the Galax fiddlers convention, “and you get this whole other level of music and respect.”
“When I take a look at my grandparents legacy, they traveled all 48 states with their music,” Beck said. “They had a Packard and a Vagabond trailer – and I have a world of archives of their photographs of all of their tours and journeys. And as they toured they would sync up with other artists on tour. My grandmother was really good friends with Mother Maybelle,” he said. “When they came off the road, they opened up a hotel in upstate New York and catered to all of their friends on tour. So I got to meet a lot of these folks when I was growing up, and here all these stories,” he recalled.
Fast forward to Ash’s new CD, California, “I’m toting the flag that had Western music continued and if we skipped the needle forward 50 years, here’s where we’d be.” Beck said.
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