I am pretty sure that “Chickenwire” by Ash Gray is the kind of album that should have a press release yet where this mystical document might be escapes me so it would seem that I will have do this old school and actually listen to the album in order to further fuel my cynicism about all things Americana.
Well, let’s get started. Ash Gray has clearly studied the rules of genre thoroughly and this album therefore meets all the criteria for roots festival friendliness yet, even with all the boxes ticked, it is soon apparent that he hasn’t just settled for giving people what they already have. His songs have, unusually for this genre, a notable degree of memorability which would seem due to his song writing skills being more in debt to folk rock than simply to yesterday. It is therefore easy to imagine those in attendance at the aforementioned festivals rising to their feet to “The Other Man” or “When The Devil Comes Home” yet those of us who know that yesterday is more than just rose tinted commercialisation will see his true talent shine brightest in the delicate “Josephine Clark” and in the laconic “Golden Road”.
All good things must come to an end and so it was with Ash Gray’s “Chickenwire” and, as he had turned out to be more songwriter than Americana opportunist, I was actually sad to see this album fade into silence.