First of all, I know this review is late but if you read the name of my blog you will notice it does not say "The I Will Get Right On It Guy's Music Blog".
My all time favorite female vocalist played at 3rd and Lindsley on January 14th and this show made me happy for three reasons: 1) Great live music in a small venue, 2) It started at 7:00pm, which meant I would be home early, and 3) A sit down show and you could order dinner. Trifecta baby!!
If you are not familiar with Ashley Cleveland shame on you. She is primarily in the gospel music market but should be on everyone's radar as a talent that should not be ignored. American Idol continues to pump out boring garbage season after season and people eat it up and yet a talent like this is largely overlooked. Ashley has been nominated for I think three grammys and taken home two of them yet people still look at you like "Who?" when you mention her name.
From the moment Ashley sang the first syllable to Queen of Soul she had the crowd captivated. Her soulful voice draws you in and makes you feel what she is singing. One of the best compliments I ever heard regarding Ashley was from my wife. It was around ten years ago and I started playing an Ashley CD and she said "that black lady can sing". Not many white women can pull that off but she has a voice that could easily do Motown justice. She proved that on her cover of Higher Ground. I am pretty sure if Stevie Wonder heard Ashley's version of his song he would be proud.....and convinced she isn't white. Ashley stuck to material from her last three CDs along with two new, unreleased songs, a Rich Mullins cover, and Jimi Hendrix's Let The Good Times Roll. If Ashley's vocals aren't enough for you, she has a beast on guitar, who also happens to be her husband. Kenny Greenberg is a jaw dropping guitar player who makes it look so effortlessly. Mix in a rhythm section that was flawless and it made for a very enjoyable night of music.
Ashley doesn't play a lot of shows so it is wise to check her website on a regular basis to see where she is playing. I have the luxury of living in the same town she does so a lot of her shows are close by. If you do not get a chance to see her perform, please check out some of her music. I do not think you will be disappointed.
Setlist (that I can remember and not in order): Queen of Soul, You Gotta Move, When The World Comes To An End, Power of Love, Don't Let Me Fall, The Blessing, Let The Good Times Roll, two new tracks, the Rich Mullins cover, Riding With The King (gave me goosebumps), and Higher Ground.