The late great Glen Campbell's daughter Ashley is keeping her father's memory alive through her amazing music
Ashley Campbell headed to the May 11 release of her debut album 'The Lonely One' with a heavy heart as it was just over nine months since she lost her father and legendary singer Glen Campbell who died in August 2017.
"Its been difficult since his passing," Ashley admits. "I learn more about how I am dealing with (the pain) every single day. I discovered right away that, when I do things to better myself in terms of my music, the pain is not as sharp."
As Taste of Country reports, Ashley is the youngest of eight children the iconic country singer left behind, and the inspiration that she's drawn from her father's legacy is evident in the album. His spirit has ignited her drive and determination to release 'The Lonely One' as the first instalment in a catalog of music she says her dad would be proud of.
"The album was already mixed and mastered upon his death, and it basically showcases four years of songwriting that I began when I came to Nashville back in 2013," Campbell recalled hours before an album release party at Nashville’s Station Inn.
"I think he would have really loved ‘The Lonely One’ because I really wanted that one to sound like a throwback song from back in the sixties and seventies and really resemble the big string arrangements my dad used to have."
While Ashley might not have had her father to walk her through the recording process for her debut album, she did have one of her father’s protégés and road band members to look up to.
"Carl (Jackson) is the sweetest person you could ever meet," she says of Jackson, who is also her godfather. "It’s so incredible to have him here for me and I am so lucky to have him in my life."
The chemistry between the godfather and the godchild emerges beautifully in one of the most impressive tracks on the new album. 'Carl & Ashley’s Breakdown' is an instrumental masterpiece on which the two connect to make some transcendental musical magic.
"I knew I wanted to put a bluegrass arrangement on the album," says Ashley. "We sat down together and ended up taking turns writing the sections and then we wrote the third section together."
The song, along with many others on the new album (all of which were penned by Ashley Campbell herself), also features a musicality that Campbell treasures. Ashley toured alongside her dad on his farewell tour back in 2012, the same year he was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
"Dad always filled his band with the best players," she says. "They all were so talented in their own right. I love being collaborative on stage and not just being the main artist. Great musicianship is something I think is super important right now." It's something the 31-year-old country singer says is sadly missing from mainstream music these days.
"Sometimes it feels like it's just about making money," Campbell remarks.
"Someone sings in front of a band the label put together. This is not to say there aren't incredible musicians out there, but there is just not much artistry being played on the radio anymore. It’s sad. Kids are out there watching some contrived pop act and not seeing real musicianship. It almost seems robotic."
"I want to be the opposite of that," she adds emphatically.