Rocker Dan Ashley pens a love letter to his past with the nostalgic Redbud Road. It only makes sense that a former journalist with a knack for telling stories to people could be able to dig inward to tell others his. It’s the kind of song that feels most in place with something from the 70s like The Cars or the Knack. It’s textural and even the rhythm of it is akin to driving down an actual empty road. For some background on Ashley, he’s had an extensive news career dating as far back as 1996 and has been privy enough to interview the likes of former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.
He also has the longest-tenured main male news anchor in the history of ABC7 in San Francisco. He’s also a multi-Emmy winner and needless to say, he’s lived quite a life. In a way, it makes sense why his track would look backward versus looking presently. It’s an earnest song that has this everyman ho-hum quality about it. Like you’re actually catching up with an old friend reminiscing over some cold beers. Part of that I think is that it effectively uses both Rock and Country elements blended very seamlessly together, to the point where you can’t exactly pin it down as either one in particular. It’s the kind of sound I miss like that of the aforementioned 70s, and it makes sense why Ashely has opened for acts like Cheap Trick, Eddie Money, and REO Speedwagon to name a few.
Like most things in his long career, he wants to bring joy with his music and as a mission statement, I’d say he succeeds in spades here. My only real major complaint is that the nature of songs like these is that it’s trying to recapture a very certain kind of feeling. While it’s a great feeling and plenty of us want to always be able to look backward in our lives, it begins to have a very general sense and in that way, it leaves the audience at arm’s length from the artist. With a man at the forefront of the band with such an interesting and storied history and life, I wish we could have cut in a little deeper as to who he is beyond the statements of “remember the fun we had, the stories we made, etc”, even when the way he tells it is incredibly enjoyable. It has what I call the “Spielberg effect”. You don’t exactly feel the fingerprints of the artist upon the first experience.
DOWNLOAD LINK: https://ffm.to/redbudroad
It’s something that becomes more notable in the context of their larger body of work and collected together you begin to see the tricks of their trade, and Ashley has always had a great series of tricks. I always recommend listeners go back and listen to any artist’s previous work to see how they evolved to this point today, and Ashley only continues to refine his abilities that he’s become an effortless music veteran.