Ashley Davis describes herself as a “porous” musician. She finds inspiration by listening to people’s stories and how they verbalize their emotions – a process in which she says she sees a lot of beauty.
A fifth-generation Kansan, Davis lives in Lawrence, where she is currently working on her ninth album, Celtic winter songs part 2which she plans to release in November.
We chatted with Davis about his inspiration, the Irish music scene in Kansas City and a few of his favorite places in town ahead of his appearance at Lawrence’s Liberty Hall on March 5.
How would you describe your music? I tend to say “world music”. Like any border child, we don’t like borders. And so I don’t want to be put in a specific bin because I want to be able to continue to tap into any culture, any genre, and continue to make my music, which is a unique blend of a lot of different things . And even though it sometimes goes against my own kind of Celtic music, I think that’s what gave me a unique voice.
How do you find your lyrics? When I write and get stuck, I often go to consult volumes of poetry that I have on hand in my writing room. I usually read about three books at once and always take notes. One habit I have that’s interesting as a writer is that I’ll often mishear something someone is saying – maybe at a table next to me – and I’ll think, “That’s a amazing way to put it,” but that’s incorrect. Or I’m going to misread some text, and the misreading ends up being something really cool. The other day I was reading a book and it said, “This is also considered the” – and what I read was “the clumsy heart.” I said to myself: “What a beautiful song title, “The clumsy heart”. I wrote it down, then I came back and read the sentence again, and it was actually “waking heart”. I do this all the time, and it’s like these little messages I get. Thus, the first track of the new winter album is called “The Awkward Heart”.
What might your fans not know about you?? Many people do not know that I am a Reiki practitioner and when I am not on the road I see people who would like to be healed with energy work. I hear the stories of the people I treat, and they are always stories of the heart. They sometimes influence the way I write something, because we are all made up of each other’s stories in some way. And your story becomes my story today. I think I’m quite a porous writer and an empath, so I always soak up everyone’s language, energy and ideas.
GO: For more on Ashley Davis, go to ashleydavisband.com.
Arthur Bryant’s BBQ“I remember going there when I was a kid with my dad, and it’s my favorite barbecue in the world. This is the most unique sauce I have ever tasted. From afar. And I give it as a gift all over the world. I will bring a bottle with me in my suitcase.
by Garazzo: “The original Garozzo is in northern Kansas City. Mike Garozzo is a good friend of my dad’s, and we’ve been going there since I was a kid. My mom is Italian, and it was like the experience I had with her Italian side on the east coast every time I went. So that would trigger a lot of memories of my Kansas family and his side as well.
Kauffmann Stadium: “Some of my most formative memories are there. I’ve been going there since I was born and have amazing family memories of being there. I’m a huge Royals fan.