To get an idea of Ash Gray and the Girls sound on their debut disc, Born in the Summer, one could simply consider the cover art and the album title. The former echoes the art of the late Sixties, and the latter refers to 1967, 'the summer of love,' when Haight-Ashbury became the center of the Hippie universe.
If that's not enough, here's a third clue: Ash Gray covers 'Bus Stop,' The Hollies hit from 1966. It's symbolic of his influences, having grown up in the UK and weaned his parent's Sixties record collection. Born in the Summer is rich with the folk to psychedelic styles that permeated the music scene of the counter-cultural revolution. Measures of Eastern intrigue fill many songs thanks to the presence of a Sitar. Where 'the Girls' come in is as his harmony vocal support for Ash Gray.
While the music is a trip down memory lane, it doesn't belong in a late night Time-Life infomercial. Gray and company keep it lively and fresh throughout as Purple and Gold and the title track prove, while not being sweetly nostalgic. Lyrically, Gray can be rather humorous, a bit tongue in cheek, as All the Good Girls and the Hottest Chick Around suggest. The summer of love's free love is captured in The Only Woman On Earth, where Gray suggest omnipresent attention for a night full of sheet-shifting. Gray puts story to music in clever form with Cecil, the loveable, possibly compromised, street preacher.
Ash Gray and the Girls' Born in the Summer is a rather unique album of classic Sixties melodic rock. There's not much like this out there these days, at least not that I know of. So get your tie-dye shirt and bell-bottoms out and groove with their Sixties sound. Recommended.
Ash Gray and the Girls' Born in the Summer is a rather unique album of classic Sixties melodic rock. There's not much like this out there these days, at least not that I know of. So get your tie-dye shirt and bell-bottoms out and groove with their Sixties sound.