Greg Ashley is the underground musician you have been waiting for. A brilliant songwriter, singer, guitar player and sound engineer, Ashley doesn't care what anyone thinks and it makes his music all the more alluring. Even as a Houston high school student he managed to make a damn fine record with The Strate Coats in 1997 (recently exhumed by Hook or Crook). In 2001 he released "A Green Dream" with The Mirrors which was followed by "13 Patient Flowers".
Ashley's masterful, first solo record "Medicine Fuck Dream" was released in 2003. Meanwhile demos were surfacing from his latest band, The Gris Gris who were signed by Birdman for three incendiary recordings: 2004s self-titled, 2005s "For The Season" and "Live at The Creamery" from 2009. As The Gris Gris disbanded Ashley released his second solo album, 2007s "Painted Garden" which expanded on the beautiful, psychedelic, self-destruction set forth on his solo debut. 2009 also saw the debut from Sir Lord Von Raven, "Please Throw Me Back in the Ocean", where Ashley provides lead guitar and his now signature production techniques. It was not until 2015 that this band would release "The Age of Machines" an impressive double album on Oakland's Guitars & Bongos. 2010 delivered a cathartic, instrumental recording "Requiem Mass and Other Experiments" with gorgeous symphonic elements on one side and true studio experiments on side b.
Some idiot from Pitchfork once compared Ashley's first solo recordings to Roky Erikson and Skip Spence then dissed it in the same sentence. Yes you will find Roky and Skip here but Ashley's music is also wisely influenced by Doug Sahm, The Kinks, Hank Williams and Leonard Cohen. Ashley's 2012 remake of Leonard's most controversial album, 1977s "Death of a Ladies Man" is a testament to his devotion and the record is surely more in line with how Leonard wanted it to be (before Phil Spector got all jiggy with it).
New directions appeared with "Another Generation of Slaves" in 2014 which included input from The John Brothers Piano Company and Yea Ming Chen (Dreamdate). Out with the heavy psychedelic production, in with the roots - roots that run from Texas Honky Tonks to Bakersfield Barrooms and straight down San Pablo Avenue, Oakland, CA.
Ashley's most recent songs (yet unreleased) are his most angry, bitter and complicated to date. As power and greed overtake our planet, rents rise and evictions move the artists further to the fringe, there will be no better rally songs than these. 2016/2017 are proving to be surprisingly productive times for art in general and Ashley in particular. His new album "Pictures of Saint Paul Street" will come out on Trouble in Mind Records in July.
Ashley is also a gifted producer/engineer. His infamous Creamery Recording Studios have put a unique flavor on a mess of great releases from Brian Glaze (Brian Jonestown Massacre), Anna Hillburg (Dreamdate), The Dutchess & the Duke, The Mantles, Will Sprott (Mumlers, Shannon & the Clams), Inaniel Swims and more.