Country Music

Tommy Ash's Yodeling Country Rock Is Pure Phoenix

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See also: The 10 Best Country Bars in Metro Phoenix

Raised on Shirley Temple and Marilyn Monroe films as a kid, Ash was naturally drawn to singing. Driving with her mom one day, she heard Leann Rimes' version of "Cowboy Sweetheart."

"We were driving in the car one day and flipping through the stations," Ash says. "'Cowboy Sweetheart' came on the radio and I started to sing along pretending I knew the song."

Rimes ignited in Ash a passion for country music. She dug deeper, listening to records by Patsy Cline, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, and others, those sounds mingling in her musical life alongside her mom and dad's classic rock favorites: ZZ Top, the Black Crows, Janis Joplin, AC/DC, and Elvis.

The hard-edged honky tonk of the Tommy Ash's latest, Sinner's Blood, bares witness to Ash's musical roots. It's a quick jab of a record, stacking slapback rockabilly riffs over propulsive shuffles. The title track isn't far removed from the cowpunk of the Blasters or X; "Sugar in a Bottle" evokes a Sun Records stomp; "When I'm On Gone" is a sweet sashay featuring revved up vocals from Ash.

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Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.