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Seventeen year old, Ashley Hart has been singing since the age of 2 and performing professionally since the age of 10; from her home in Illinois, to Nashville and Las Vegas, Ashley has certainly made the rounds in the circuit. She's opened for legends such as Ronnie McDowell, Charlie Daniels and the Charlie Daniels Band, Jeff Carson, the Oak Ridge Boys and many more. In September of 2000, Ashley was featured on "Las Vegas Backstage Live" television show.

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stool.jpg (8018 bytes)Ashley was introduced to me via email by a mutual friend of ours, Larry Cole who is also featured on the MKOC Horizon. Larry believed so much in Ashley's talent that he felt she needed the exposure on MKOC and asked if I'd be willing to hear and review her material. Since I think very highly of Larry as a person as well as a performer, I agreed. I can honestly say, I'm not sorry.  

From her first song on the 1998 CD release entitled, "Somebody's Angel", I was a fan. As a rule, I don't care for "live" albums.. I'd rather hear the artist than the crowd, but in this case, it was a real treat to hear just how much Ashley's voice had matured in the one year. Her live CD, "Live from Burlington Memorial Auditorium" really demonstrated her growth in talent as well as her ease on the stage and her ability to work an audience. All that was missing was a uncomfortable seat and popcorn because this CD clearly demonstrates her energy on stage and the approval of her audience as she performed.

"Live from Burlington Memorial Auditorium" has only one of Ashley's original songs, "Itty Bitty Heartache" and the rest are cover tunes, but all very well done as you'll hear in the song samples below. My only disappointment in this album was the use of 3 Shanai Twain songs. I won't harp on this as every young female artist I've heard to date sings at least a few Shanai songs. I was more intrigued with her interpretations of songs made famous by the "King" - Elvis Presley, "The Teddy Bear Song" and "Unchained Melody", first made famous by the Righteous Brothers.

Ashley does justice to all of these classic tunes and what's more, I heard a definite improvement in her original song, "Itty Bitty Heartache" as compared to the rendition of it on the "Somebody's Angel" CD. I guess this could be chalked up to more than one factor, like production and sound quality of the recordings, but there's no hiding the fact that Ashley has gained strength vocally and no doubt, emotionally as you can sense her comfort with the music.

None of this is to "nay-say" her wonderful album, "Somebody's Angel". It is filled with some wonderfully written songs, several that were written or cowritten by Lonnie Ratliff and Carol Hashe only to mention a few... but all songs were well chosen to fit Ashley and she brings them to life with ease. My favorites are, as always, the ballads; "Mirror, Mirror", "Somebody's Angel", "The Night Has No Mercy" and "Before You Turn Into A Memory". Well done, writers and well done, Ashley. There's only 8 songs on this CD, but they're all keepers, including the remake of Reba's "I'd Rather Ride Around With You"... which actually sounds better coming from a teenager as it's a song created for the young at heart.

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Introduction at Live Performance
(Opening for the Oak Ridge Boys)

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Mirror, Mirror

Somebody's Angel

The Night Has No Mercy

Don't Toy Around With My Heart

Before You Turn Into A Memory

Brand New Day

Itty Bitty Heartache

Hound Dog

Love Me Tender

The Teddy Bear Song

Unchained Melody

End of the show applause

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1998 Silver Spur Records
All Rights Reserved

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Ashley Hart - "The Hart of Country Music"
There is currently no website for Ashley.. MKOC is her "Debut" to the net!

You can Email Ashley at
twang_city@hotmail.com
or
wi_hart@winco.net

Email Ashley to Purchase CDs!
Somebody's Angel - $10
Ashley Live - $15.00

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