Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween from Rhett Ashley

"Acting is like a Halloween mask that you put on." - River Phoenix
"If human beings had genuine courage, they'd wear their costumes every day of the year, not just on Halloween." - Douglas Coupland

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

I'm Still Here.

I'm still here.
I wrote a very personal entry a few months back but then decided to take it down. In it, I talked about the health issues I had experienced for several months before Christmas. I was hospitalized at the end of December and in recovery from respiratory problems for a couple of months afterwards. I won't go into the particulars of that original post but I am doing very well now. In fact, my voice is the strongest it has ever been.

I never considered myself a good singer. I have been my own worst critic for years. I am seeing some light at the end of the tunnel, however. In the last few months, I have let a number people hear tracks off my album "Retro" and the response has been very positive. Everyone has commented on how good I am singing now. I am still my own worst critic but after hearing various recordings - my voice is sounding strong, clear and better than average. I am truly thankful for that.

I am still working on "Retro" while taking breaks to record "B-Sides & D-Lites". Working on two albums at the same time is very time-consuming. I am at a good place right now with both projects. I do believe I will be releasing some tunes by Fall of 2014. I am very excited and thankful to have come this far despite the setbacks. With that being said - thanks to all of you that have been waiting (way too long) for this music to get released. It means so much to me that people are still interested in what I am doing. Thank you -Rhett Ashley

Friday, April 18, 2014

Wishing Everyone A Great Easter Weekend

I just wanted to wish everyone a great Easter weekend. It's not really one of my favorite holidays but I know it's very important to some. I look at it as a time of renewal and change. I am more excited about Spring, the weather warming up and everything coming to life again. Wishing you and yours a wonderful weekend. -Rhett Ashley

Friday, February 14, 2014

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Where's The Music Rhett Ashley?

A lot of people have been contacting me - asking the same question. "Where's the music?" I announced a little over a year ago that I would be recording my material for everyone to hear. I have been doing just that but the process can be slow at times. The album "RETRO" is primitive compared to today's over-produced pop albums. I have been writing the entire album on a synthesizer that was popular in the early 90s. In fact, the Ensoniq SD-1 keyboard was first produced in 1990. I have used no outside computer software to enhance the sound of the album. I have put no auto-tune on my vocals. It's raw electronic/alternative music just like you would have heard back in the 80s. The sound is great but getting there takes more time.

I own and manage a toy store in Pennsylvania. I also do small business consulting and website design on the side. I'm a busy person but at least four nights a week I get into the studio to write and record. It has been over 15 years since I last recorded in a studio or performed live. The process is quite different now from my early days of recording in the 90s. It's actually a lot better but I'm my own worst enemy. I want every sound and vocal to be perfect. I have changed things a million times. Lyrics have been rewritten and changed back again. I've wiped out major instrumental sections of songs. And then - just to decide which songs would make the final cut. I've gone back and forth so many times, I should have called the album "Roller Coaster".

We had set to release "RETRO" at the end of March. It had been downgraded to an E.P. instead of a full-length album. Five songs would be easier than twelve songs to release. Unfortunately, a sinus infection set recording back by weeks. My voice had completely gone but this was a blessing in disguise. A month later when I got my voice back, I started recording again. I also decided to let a few select friends hear the five tracks I had chosen for "RETRO". One song on the album called "Hard Chore Sexual" would NOT make the final cut. Everyone was in agreement that the lyrics and subject matter were too controversial. I had literally spent more time on this song than any other. This sent me on 48-hour downward spiral. I thought I had figured out everything I wanted to capture on "RETRO". The album was suppose to represent the innocence of the 80s and how innocence was eventually lost. Basically, the story of my life and many other people out there. I came to my senses a few days later. The song would have to go. I would record "Hard Chore Sexual" but it just couldn't be on "RETRO". So I went back to the drawing board and went back to my original plan to release a full album. Ten to twelve songs that would be retro in approach and appreciation of the 80s. So that's where I am at now with everything. Still recording...always writing...and trying to sing my best. I hope to have "RETRO" out very soon. It will be worth the wait. I promise.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Inspired by John Carpenter's Halloween

In 1978, my parents took me to see a little known horror flick called Halloween. I was 8 years old at the time. I hid in my jacket for the last 20 minutes of the film. When we walked out of the theater, I could not get the soundtrack out of my head. I went home that night, sat down to the family piano and figured out how to play the theme to Halloween. I was hooked on the simplicity of the song and how effective it had been in the movie. I would later find out that John Carpenter was not only the director behind Halloween but also the composer of the soundtrack. I remember getting a copy of Fangoria Magazine about a year later with an advertisement for the soundtrack. I wanted that soundtrack so bad. It would take over 10 years for me to finally purchase the Halloween Soundtrack on cassette tape and then eventually on CD. John Carpenter's musical score absolutely fascinated me. From his films to his soundtracks, there was just something that always worked for me. My parents took me to the The Fog and then later I saw Escape To New York. I would go home after seeing each film and try to recreate what I had heard. I loved movie soundtracks - especially ones by John Carpenter. I would discover other movie soundstracks through the years from all sorts of genres. Horror movie soundtracks were the ones that I always gravitated to.

As I prepare to release some my music at the end of this month, I am seeing influences from all over the place that I never recognized before. I am presenting two decades worth of material that was inspired by New Wave, Electronica and those early days of trying to play the Halloween theme on an old piano. I have been in the studio almost every evening. I'm looking so forward to making my music available to the public after all this time. Critics and fans of my music have said for years that I have a "movie soundtrack kind of sound". I'm not quite sure what that means - but I guess I can thank Mr. Carpenter for that.