{Behind The Music} Mike Ashdown on The Men In The Valleys

{Behind The Music} Mike Ashdown on The Men In The Valleys

Mike The Ashdown Band performing

My over all goal for my life & career is…
To live as long as possible with my beautiful wife and to be remembered for my songs. – Mike Ashdown

Live Interview June 1 at 6:20 pm et
Episode #328 : A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax :

Jacqueline Jax logo photoGETTING TO KNOW MIKE ASHDOWN
The Ashdown Roadhouse Band

by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio


In the 1960’s…
the Beatles and the Springfields made me love music. Every album that the Beatles produced took them to new heights, so I would choose Abbey Road, as it was their final piece of work so they didn’t get the chance to get even better.

The Springfields were the first group I was a fan of when I was only 6 or 7. My parents bought their records for me. I still believe Tom Springfield was a highly under-rated songwriter.

Bob Dylan inspired me to be a songwriter. The early protest songs were like nothing we had ever heard before. I thought “The Times They Are A-Changin” was written just for me. But then, when he went poetic, it got even better. “Mr Tambourine Man”, “Desolation Row” and “It’s Alright Ma, I’m Only Bleeding” made me want to be a songwriter.

The Men In The Valleys…
It tracks the changing political & social landscape of the South Wales Coal Mining communities over the past 20 years.

A purpose for the music…
Our Bass Player (Richard Craine) lost his mum to Pancreatic Cancer 3 years ago, so we hoped to raise some money for Pancreatic Cancer Research (http://www.pancreaticcancer.org.uk) So far, we have raised approx. $500.

We live in Bristol, UK…
Bristol has a thriving live music scene with multiple choices of venues every night of the week. As well as playing with the Ashdown Roadhouse Band and doing solo gigs, I am embarking on a new project of a Bob Dylan tribute show. My first gig was last week.

Music business…
I have no illusions about the music business as two of my sons have had 15 years’ experience in it. One as the bass player in the New Rhodes, and one as a tour manager for various artists.

Social media…
Understanding Facebook is a daily challenge in itself.

I would love to have 5 minutes alone with….
Probably Paul Simon, as I think that from a technical point of view, he is the greatest songwriter ever. I believe “America” is the greatest song ever written. (Closely followed by “The Boxer” and “American Tune” of course). They are perfect combinations of Chord structure, melody and lyrics in equal proportions. I would ask him about the process he went through writing those songs

Current and trendy…
I have long since stopped worrying about being current.

I am most afraid of…
Not having enough time left to write hundreds more songs.

My personal definition of success is…
Raising 3 sons who have turned into amazing adults.

My over all goal for my life & career is…
To live as long as possible with my beautiful wife and to be remembered for my songs.

3 Ways that I challenge myself…

1) Continuously writing songs and developing them either with the band or as solo projects.

2) Leaning (and remembering) all the words to Bob Dylan epics to prove to myself that I haven’t got Alzheimer’s yet.

3) Playing new venues to unknown new audiences.

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