Asheville musician and West Virginia native Asher Leigh’s first solo album, Roots Alive, is being released on March 1. “I usually describe the music I write as contemporary folk,” Leigh says. “Sometimes it takes on an alternative feel, and other times it sounds a little more country. And even sometimes world music influences will sneak in. All that said, I think Roots Alive sounds a little like a folkie pop album.”
Leigh calls herself a late bloomer when it comes to music. Moving to Asheville after college, she embraced the “musical melting pot,” as she calls it, taking guitar lessons from a bluegrass musician, recording with friends and writing songs.
It was on a visit home to West Virginia that she wrote her first song. She had almost finished it when she began the drive back to Asheville. “I was so excited I couldn’t stop myself from singing it in the car,” she says. “So distracted by the magic of the experience, as traffic approached a construction zone, I totally missed the cue to slow down and rear-ended the car driving in front of me.” As they waited for the police to arrive, Leigh says, she saw the mishap as an opportunity. Here was an audience of one, the driver of the other car, right there with her. “I was filled with delight and, innocently, asked the woman if she’d like to hear it,” Leigh says. “She said ‘yes’ begrudgingly, and, with excitement, I shared my first song with a grumpy stranger on the side of I-79. I sang that melody non-stop for the rest of the six-hour drive back to Asheville, and from that moment on I was glued to music and songwriting.”
Roots Alive is available at iTunes, Spotify and AsherLeighMusic.com. For information about upcoming shows, including one at Isis Music Hall on May 29, check the website or find Asher Leigh on Facebook.