I am a singer/guitarist/songwriter from San Antonio, TX to say the least. I am also a collector of cool, weird, antique things and a world traveller.
When I was six years old, I tried my best to do my own interpretation of “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow” from Annie at the kitchen table while coloring in a coloring book. My mother who is now my biggest fan yelled from our living room “You’d better think of a different career choice!” I showed her…
I started singing *for real* in our backyard on the outskirts of San Antonio while spending time in my dad’s “secret-garden-turned-sandcastle-building-studio.” While sitting with my parents I would write songs on the backs of the rocks my dad stacked up to make his garden in and sing the Star Spangled Banner while listening for white tail deer to walk by. They were in shock when I knew all the words (do you know all the words?) and sang in key to the whole tune.
I had been singing my “Star Spangled Banner” rendition all over South Texas at premier venues like Stone Oak Elementary School (my old stomping grounds) and at Retama Park, San Antonio’s Horse Racetrack. When I decided at age 10 to branch out and start singing other things. “Wide Open Spaces” by the Dixie Chicks had just come out on CD and those girls looked so cool carrying their guitars on the front cover. I decided I should play guitar as well and got the “Wide Open Spaces” album and a brand new cheap guitar for Christmas that year. Christmas Day I had my first photo shoot with my mom. I took her out onto our dirt road to get the Dixie Chicks shot… walking past with my guitar. I’d freeze in the middle of a step so she could take a picture. I’ll spare you the picture because it’s horrible.
I learned my first song over the next couple months: “The Buckin Song” by Robert Earl Keen. A Favorite of our family. When I debuted it in my living room filled with dogs and immediate family (mom, dad, and my sister, Calee) mom and dad were thrilled and said that if I learned one more song that they would buy me a new guitar. I went in my room and 20 minutes later emerged with “Five Pound Bass,” another Robert Earl Keen song with the exact same tune and guitar chords. That was when they decided that they couldn’t promise new guitars.
I played every open mic in the San Antonio-New Braunfels area for the next few years singing cover songs like “Whatever You Say” by Martina McBride” and “Come To My Window” by Melissa Etheridge at Saenger Hall in New Braunfels, The River Road Icehouse, Casbeers in San Antonio, Borders Bookstore with Jack Skiles (you can afford a Ford when you buy from Gillespie). The bikers loved me at River Road Icehouse in New Braunfels. They rode Harleys and tipped $20 bills. The eleven-year-old version of me loved them too.
My first paying gig was in Canyon Lake, TX at the Dam Red Barn opening for Rivertrain on New Year’s Eve. I haven’t gotten paid that well since.
I went to The North East School of the Arts in San Antonio for Musical Theatre where I learned to sing (well… I already knew how to sing, but lessons didn’t hurt), dance (pretty badly), and act (really badly) and I was featured in musicals like The Threepenny Opera as Jenny Diver and Cats as Grizabella (the one who doesn’t have to dance but has to be able to belt her face off.) While I was at NESA I received recognition by Seventeen Magazine as one of the nations “Top Ten Teen Rock Bands” and got a whole mess of Redken Hair Products to give away at school. I was pretty popular. I also made an album called “Iron Roses” that got national radio play. Not bad for a Teenager.
After graduating from High School I worked at Sea World of San Antonio as a singer/guitar player and even had my own show where I’d swim in the water and jump off Shamu’s nose with my guitar. Okay not really, but I had my own show just like Shamu called “Ashlee Rose: Unplugged” and even got bumped up to have my own band: The Fins. While working at Sea World I played characters like “Daisy” and “Punky” the punk rock pumpkin princess for Halloween in Jack is Back (look up the youtube video… it’s a classic!) and did a duet with that big lovable killer whale they have down there.
I then took a job on a crusie ship as their solo guitarist which really means I play a lot of Elvis and James Taylor to lots of elderly people and some who are middle aged. Because of that job I was able to make a new album this year called “Songs In A Suitcase”, travel the world (Mexico, the Panama Canal, Alaska, The South Pacific, The Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, The Mediterranean, Turkey, and Africa), and meet lots of people who have invited me to stay at their place (I WILL call in those favors, yall)
In November I will be coming back home to TX, the best state ever, for barbecue, mexican food, and to promote the new album.
Enjoy the pics, yall, and the stories.
2013 Female Vocalist of the Year- Texas Music Awards
2013 Wildflower! Performing Songwriter Competition Winner