CD Review by Danielle Boise
Ashland Belle hails from Buffalo, NY, but you wouldn’t be able to tell that they don’t reside right in the heart of Nashville by listening to their debut six-track EP, Bringin’ Country Back, which was released on Aug. 3. The six tracks combine heartfelt lyrics with fun, catchy hooks that push past the traditional two-step of country by playing around with a multitude of genres. Ashland Belle seamlessly takes an amalgamation of alternative country, southern rock and classic country to create the soundscape for Bringin’ County Back. An album that makes you want to grab a handful of friends, some beer, and settle in for a night of fun.
A country track with a kiss of southern rock that demands attention be paid is how Bringin’ County Back starts off with the fresh and biting “Here’s to the County.” “Dumb Enough” has a great push back feel to it; a break-up song about getting on with life, but not really ready to be happy for your ex and ecstatic that you’re no longer part of each other’s life.
With a slower sweeter melody, “Play That Old Guitar” pierces to the heart of the matter by being simple, serene, and highly romantic. Ashland Belle then switches gears for “Bringing Country Back” by producing a solidified country song with a kick. This is a track you would want to see performed live; the energy on the recorded EP is intense, but I can imagine Ashland Belle stirring any venue size to their feet with this one song.
“Dream Called You” is a very sweet song. It’s exactly what every girl longs to hear from their lover; “in all that we’ve been through, I’ve had this dream called you.” Ashland Belle leaves us wanting more with the last track, “Hot and Crazy,” a song that demands you to get on the floor and dance the night away with a southern fried rock feel with a hilt of country.
Bringin’ Country Back is exactly what Ashland Belle has done, but with a twist. Stay tuned for what they have in store, as tour dates will soon be announced.