You are here: Home Music Beat Sean Ashby moves beyond Sarah McLachlan
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

L.A. Beat

Sean Ashby moves beyond Sarah McLachlan

E-mail Print PDF

He played with Sarah McLachlan for 12 years  at the peak of her career, played with  the Wild Strawberries, Ginger featuring members of the Grapes of Wrath for three albums, and even played with D from Run DMC, not to mention Delerium which features former members of Skinny Puppy, but what Sean Ashby has always wanted to do was be a roots/ Americana singer/ songwriter.
 Sean Ashby plays Lethbridge, Thursday, Aug. 12 at the Mocha Cabana. Photo submitted“I’m doing this old school. I’m not just sitting in my living room trying on costumes, my clothes are dirty, I can’t get to a dry-cleaner. I’m on the road,” said the Vancouver raised, Toronto based singer/songwriter Ashby, on his way to Swift Current  for a  gig on his latest tour which comes to the Mocha Cabana in Lethbridge on Thursday. 

He has logged 230 shows in the past 18 months, crossed Canada five times dipped down into the U.S. in addition to  taking some time off to surf and write in Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

He released his second solo Cd “24 Hours of Daylight” back in March and has barely stopped to take a breath.
He is touring with bassist Rob Chursinosf and drummer Al Boudreau.

“I don’t have a band of my own yet, I have bands in Winnipeg, Vancouver and Toronto,” he said adding while he had a lot of success with  Sarah McLachlan, including Diamond and Platinum selling albums, not to mention his songs appearing in films and movies,  and three Lilith Fairs, he has been concentrating on his solo career for the past three years.
“I did that for 12 years, when we started it was pretty open but as it became more successful, it became more fixed.

“It turned into a job, we toured a lot and it was $4,000 a week to play music, so I could pay my rent.  It would be that or moving furniture,” he said.

“I turned down that gig originally to play with Ginger because I wanted to work with those Grapes of Wrath guys and I liked their music better, but when that fell apart, I got on board that train. And it really went through the roof with “Fumbling Towards Ecstasy,”” he continued adding he never knew how long the Sarah McLachlan gig would last, which made it difficult to do his own projects as well, however people are responding to his music and live shows.

“We’re selling lots of CDs  at the show, which is pretty surprising and I’m getting a lot of hits off of CBC 3,” he said adding people like some of the bizarre sounds  his drummer gets  as he incorporates chains and  2x4 for additional rhythm, so he’s incorporating some of that into the show.
“It’s raw, though not as raw as some others, but there are very few edits,” he said adding even though he has played with some heavy hitters and has his own successful band, Jack Tripper (which had a song in the Bill Pullman movie “The Guilty”), and a lot of solo success including songs placed on shows like the Chris Isaak show and the L-Word,  that’s not what his live show is about. He uses six different guitars and  explores a variety of musical styles.

“I don’t perform the songs I wrote with other bands. Sometimes I’ll get a request for ‘Blackbird’ the Beatles song, because I recorded it with Sarah, but she sang on it. I just played guitar. But this is not a retrospective of my career as a sideman. I don’t just want to play boring singer/songwriter stuff.  I’ll do covers, but my own versions of them. I do a surf instrumental called “Mirsirlou” and I do one Tom Petty son “Breakdown,” but I’ll do things like “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.”  And I play a lot of lap steel guitar, ” he continued adding he feels lucks to have the success he has for TV and film placement.

 “I don’t know what advice I can offer. Good luck. There was a brief moment in time — about eight years where TV and movie producers were looking for indie bands. Now record companies control them. It can be done,” he said adding his girlfriend was working on a movie with an editor and turned him onto Ashby’s band Jack Tripper. In another case the music editor of another project was a fan of the band.

“They have libraries of music to draw from, so when someone is looking for music for a film, they just go to their libraries,” he said.

In the meantime, Ashby is getting a lot of support from CBC and to a lesser extent college and university radio.
“That’s a shortcoming on our part, sitting down and sending CDs out to them. We’re doing tours, and getting to venues And I’ve got to set up six guitars and because I’m a singer, I have to eat at weird times,” he said.
Ashby plays from 6-9 p.m. at the Mocha Cabana, Aug. 12. There is no cover.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
{jcomments on} 
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 10 August 2010 16:36 )  
The ONLY Gig Guide that matters


Music Beat

Lights. Camera. Action.
Inside L.A. Inside

CD Reviews


Music Beat News

Art Beat News

Drama Beat News

Museum Beat News