Thursday, October 30, 2003
The Ash Ganley Band described its music as "greasy." It refers to a kind of music that's thick as syrup.
"We don't call ourselves a jam band, but we attract that kind of audience," Ash Ganley said. "There are two sides to that kind of music. There is the gritty side -- Southern music and dark liquor. Then there is the Phish and String Cheese happy camp.
"We're the first. We're about strong emotions."
Their Web site opens with a similar taunt, "Move over all you cutesy Boulder bluegrass family beer-hall polka pony riding cheese puffs."
When they aren't poking fun at their fellow musicians, the Ash Ganley Band plays music that wanders from Marvin Gaye slow 70s style ballads to Latin dance music. The mix is the result of an endless supply of music supplied from a friend's CD burning parties.
"We've been doing that for a long time, and I've heard a lot of great music that way," Ganley said. "And once you hear something like Latin music, you have to internalize it. Rock music is so pedestrian in comparison.
"We don't pretend to be the best Latin musicians in the world, but it definitely adds some color to things."
Ganley calls his band's music "High Desert Soul." That cool catch-phrase refers to the way their music is affected by their physical surroundings while living in Lyons.
"It's high and dry, and there's something kind of scary and lonely about it," Ganley said. "I used to live on the East Coast and I feel like the things that are important to people out there feel so small out here, because you can see forever. Psychologically, you realize that your life is really short. That rock formation will be the same a thousand years after I'm gone.
"As if trying to have a music career isn't humbling enough."
The sound of high, dry loneliness is best communicated with the steel slide guitar.
"It has a haunting quality to it, and playing in minor keys creates that melancholy feeling," he said. "A lot happens when I'm driving through the mountains and when I listen to a minor key slide song, it just connects to the geography, to the hard beautiful land."
Between bass player, Chris Wright, and Ganley, members of the Ash Ganley Band have played in Steamboat more than 100 times in the past 10 years. They have played as incarnations of their band, such as Preacherman and the Congregation, Wailer B. and Zestfinger.
The Ash Ganley Band is the result of that cumulative experience, Ganley said. "This is really about exploring my own material."