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    Nick Ashton & Tin Rooster

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    Crush [2007]


    It's that unstoppable rush of infatuation, the first full flush of excitement, that sizzling electric tingle that shoots through you at the thought of that special person you're just getting to know. It's a crush.

    California-to-Nashville transplant Nick Ashton knows all about that love-drunk feeling. His new album, Crush, was written under its influence, and it pulses with the thrill of romantic anticipation. Maybe the sound of the album rings so true because it is. "Most of the songs are about somebody who's very special to me," he admits. "It's kinda funny to talk about it, but that really is what happened. When you're inspired, you're inspired."

    But that inspiration is just a jumping-off point for Ashton to explore a fuller spectrum of human experience on these 11 tracks. "The songs are all true stories," he testifies. "Each one of the songs is actually written from events in my own life. This album was inspired by some really positive experiences."

    One of those positive developments was Orange Countian Ashton's happy immersion in the music-rich atmosphere of Nashville, which has now become a second home for him. The sound of Crush represents the melding of Ashton's laid-back Cali country-rock influences and the crackling virtuosity of the Nashville aces who bring a cutting-edge, radio-ready shimmer to his songs.

    Crush was first born when Ashton traveled to Nashville to record a few demos with producer Jim Lightman. Taken with Lightman's skilled touch and the quality of Music City's musicians, he let the project blossom into a full-fledged album. "It gelled really quickly," says Ashton. "I was hooked on the whole Nashville sound. I've got to hand it to Jim Lightman—I write the stuff, but he's done a phenomenal job of getting the right musical feeling."

    Crush is the culmination of Ashton's musical life, a journey that began over 2,000 miles from Nashville, in San Bernadino, California. His father was a bass player and singer who gave up the traveling musician life to be home for his growing family. Young Nick learned about music from his dad firsthand, while soaking up the diverse sounds of his parents' enormous record collection and the local California music scene. "I listened to everything from big-band stuff to Chicago to Black Sabbath," he recalls with a chuckle. " My Dad taught me a lot about timing, he had me listen to Sinatra and then show me how to lay back just behind the beat" He believes that the current country music moment is perfect for a musician with his varied influences. "What's really neat that's happening now is that there's a great diversity," he figures. "People are accepting different styles being injected into country music, like what I do."

    Encouraged by his father, Ashton started playing music himself at around age 13. "I just had this sort of innate need to play," he says. He took up drums first, bashing along to Beatles albums. "Then I noticed that the drummers are at the back of the band," he says with a laugh. "I wanted to be at the front, so I learned to play guitar."

    Songwriting came naturally to him, and his teen band was distinguished by its refusal to play anything but originals. "But the music was good, and people liked it, so we were kind of like the big party band," he remembers. "That's how I made a living at 19, playing at parties for a thousand people—admission was a dollar for girls, two dollars for guys. That's how I got into music."

    He quickly tasted success, selling a commercial jingle to a wine company seeing one of his songs recorded by English hard-rock legends Wishbone Ash. "I thought, 'Wow, this is a great way to make a living,'" he says. "There was no question in my mind that this is what I'd be doing."
    Since then, Ashton has been paying the dues necessary to every professional musician with an uncommon spirit of determination and optimism. "I'm proud that I've never given up," he says. "You just gotta for it 110%."

    Jim Lightman - Bass Guitar
    Dave Spak - Vocals, Drums
    Nick Ashton - Guitar, Lead Vocal
    Nashville Musicians( 5 Piece) - Guitar, Backing Vocals, keyboards, Fiddle, Pedal Steel

    Affair of The Heart- CD 2005
    Crush- CD pre-release/radio testing

    Highlighs of Shows 2006-2012
    Concert,Crazy Horse Saloon-Orange County Ca, Concert
    Concert, Six Flags, Magic Mountain Ca, Joe Nichols
    Tootsies, Nashville TN, Show for WSM Radio
    Tootsies, Nashville TN, Country Music Week Show
    Verizon Amphetheatre, Irvine Ca, Montgomery Gentry
    BB Kings, Nashville TN, Country Music Week
    Blockbuster Pavillion, Devore Ca, Brad Paisley, Sara Evans

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