*Editor’s Note: Vashon Center for the Arts announced Wednesday that this concert is cancelled.
Singer-songwriter Alex Ashley promises an evening of original blues and Americana roots music when he and his band perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, at the Kay White Hall.
Ashley is no stranger to Vashon. His family — grandparents on both sides, aunts and uncles — have been island residents in the past, and one grandmother currently lives in Gold Beach. Through his multiple visits, Ashley has developed a soft spot for the island.
“Vashon is a great community and has a camaraderie you don’t get other places,” said the musician, who lives in Bellingham.
That soft spot for the island translates into a strong drive to make his first Vashon performance a special one.
The show will open with Ashley on electric guitar and vocals along with his band — with three female vocalists singing both harmonies and solo — playing Ashley’s original tunes.
After a full set, the band will take a break while Ashley switches gears and performs a mini-acoustic (with vocals) set, tells some stories and talks with the audience — a component of the show that he said helps him appreciate his connection with the audience — before the band returns.
“I like to slow things down in the middle and talk to people,” said Ashley, whose style has been compared to a young Vince Gill, with blues reminiscent of Eric Clapton and John Mayer.
Deejay Dillon Honcoop of Bellingham’s Cascade Radio Group said by masterfully weaving the old and the new, “Alex Ashley delivers heartfelt vocals and wields his well-worn six-string to stir fresh reflection on the human condition in a way only honest American music can.”
The band performs throughout the Northwest and recently played at the Columbia City Theater, which has hosted such musical luminaries as Jimi Hendrix, Ella Fitzgerald and Ray Charles. Ashley remarked that he’s looking forward to playing at Vashon Center for the Arts.
“Years before VCA broke ground, I read an article about it and saw the plans. I knew then that I wanted to play there,” Ashley said. “I have so much respect for Vashon’s arts community. We are looking forward to treating them to a top-notch show.”
Tickets are sold at VCA, Heron’s Nest and vashoncenterforthearts.org.