CD Review: Ashley Davis “Night Travels”

Posted: March 27, 2014 in Music
Tags: , , , , , ,

Ashley Davis is an American-born singer-songwriter who has found her musical sound by blending together Irish, Scottish and American sounds and influences to create a style that is very much Celtic in feel while still containing a large amount of Appalachian quality, as well. The blending of the three folk styles gives Davis’ music a flavor that will appeal to many different fans of music.

The Night Travels release from Ashley Davis begins with the track “His Bride I’ll Be”. From the very first note of the song, the listener gets a real sense of the talent of Davis as the track truly sounds and feels as if it were a standard of Celtic music. The beauty in Davis’ voice has a genuine Celtic flavor that adds to the realistic feel of the song. On the track, Ashley gets a little help from a well-known musician by the name of Sara Watkins. Watkins has made a name for herself by being the singer/fiddle player for the band Nickel Creek and then on her own as a solo artist. It is the vocals from Watkins that helps turn the track into a duet and her fiddle playing gives the track an unmistakable Celtic music feel.

On the next track of “I Will Follow (Leanain Thu)”, the pace of the music slightly picks up but still gently flows as it contains a generous amount of the beauty found in Celtic music. The mandolin, fiddle and guitar found on the track all blend together to create another track that brings to mind a modern take on standard Celtic music. The blending of both female and male vocals on the track gives the song more depth while not quite falling into the category of a duet, as the male voice sings along with Davis on the refrain but never joins in to sing a verse on the track.

Night Travels from Ashley Davis continues with the title track of “Night Travels”. After a short jig, Davis sings a song of two lovers who want nothing more than to be together. The lyrics of the song contain a great deal of sadness and beauty at the same time. It is interesting how the jig from the beginning of the song continually shows up throughout the track. The two aspects of the track of the original jig portion to the track and the rest of the musical part of the song blend well together and create a track with a continuously shifting landscape.

Like on the track “His Bride I’ll Be” where Ashley Davis is joined by Sara Watkins who adds her talents as fiddle player to the track, Davis is also joined on the song “With You Tonight” by another fiddle player of Eileen Ivers, founding member of the band Cherish the Ladies and second fiddle player in the show Riverdance. Together, Davis and Ivers create one of the most modern sounding tracks on the release. The inclusion of the harp on the track along with Ivers’ fiddle adds a lot of depth to the song. When the fiddle and the harp get the chance to come to the forefront of the track that is when the song really shines. All of the various elements in the song of “With You Tonight” end up making the song one of the best tracks on Night Travels from Ashley Davis.

One of the most upbeat and up-tempo tracks on the Night Travels album from Ashley Davis is the song “Alone with Me”. The song features a quick tempo and is easily one of the most commercial tracks on the album. “Alone with Me” has enough “crossover” potential that the song could easily get played on any commercial Adult Contemporary radio station in the country. The Night Travels album from Ashley Davis is a well-made album that really brings out the talent and influences in Davis. Whether you are a fan of Country music, Folk music or Celtic music, there is plenty of variety in Night Travels, the new release from Ashley Davis to make you happy.

Click HERE for the live video of “With You Tonight” by Ashley Davis.

Reviewed by Matheson Kamin
Rating: **** (out of four)

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