Change brought me to Utica. I did my research, and had found that there was much going on musically in the Utica community, and right away gained interest. ~Amanda Ashley
Amanda Ashley, originally of Holtsville, NY (Long Island) and now of Rochester, is making a name for herself in the state of New York based upon the strength of her voice and also the strength of her drive and work ethic. A good example might be the day I caught her set at Trinities in downtown Rochester around Noon, after which she was hauling a keyboard larger than she is around the streets to navigate the parking mess, to take off for a mid afternoon show in a suburb, and then play in the evening somewhere else! And she does this all over the state in a collection of the sickest heels you’ve seen for days. I think the femme fatale angle is quite stunningly obvious. You sort of want to purr.
Don’t let the va va voom fool you. I know Amanda personally, and I know that her she doesn’t sit back and capitalize on outward appearances. Her motivation is considerable, and extends to the community around her. She makes connections through her music and though just being herself and is generous in sharing the fruits of those connections. She co-hosts The Five Alarm Open Jam at The Firehouse Saloon (which I can attest is a fun time!), is the Creative Director of the Local Visionaries which works in the art and music community to empower female artists, and through that, she has hosted a series of events at the Tango Café in Rochester called ReHatched that feature women artists of various mediums. I’ve met a lot of great people through Amanda, and I’m not the only one.
So, it’s a love fest. But, I seriously would be surprised if you could meet this woman and not love her. Unless you’re another singer taking the stage after her! Because when Amanda opens her mouth, the amount of sound that this person creates is astonishing! She has a beautiful, powerful voice that is intimate at the same time. That’s nice work if you can get it. Her musical aesthetic is also smart. She plays a wide range of music, both originals and covers. Harkening back just to the show at Trinities, she played several great originals (I appreciate her thoughtful lyrics that are more than just a clever turn of phrase) as well as some Stevie Wonder and Alicia Keys. Not an unpleasant way to spend a lunch hour!
“Music and performing makes me feel a sense of power, and confidence which I do not carry with me in everyday life. I’d like to think of my music as being honest and unfiltered. I really write from my heart, experiences and from what I observe in those whom which I’m surrounded by.”
Amanda’s come to town pretty regularly lately and among her most recent conquests are a photoshoot with Evolution Advertising, a local agency, and a gig with fellow singer/songwriter Lisa Romano at Mr. McGills. While not a UMAF venue, McGills is a staple on the local working musician scene and I’m glad to see traveling artists of that work ethic find a home for the evening! “I have spent this past year performing in Utica on occasion and trying to promote my music out that way. I’ve gained some new fans, very cool new friends, and am looking forward to participating and being a part of the excitement.”
Did I say she was busy? Between now and ‘fest time, Amanda will be in Boston, Brooklyn and Long Island. Then we get her for a little bit.
You can get the album Back to Me and “possibly other fun stuff” which you should take off her hands on Saturday, September 17th at the Celtic Harp at 8:00 p.m. and then 10:30 at the Hotel Utica in the same evening. Lighten the woman’s load!
Amanda on the web: