Ashley Taylor: roots in Bakersfield

Country music has had a place in Bakersfield, California since the 1950s. Bakersfield is where the infamous sound made popular by Buck Owen and Merle Haggard called the “Bakersfield Sound” was created. The area has continued to be influenced by country music and up-and-coming singer/songwriter, Ashley Taylor, has brought her Bakersfield roots to the city of Nashville. I had the opportunity to ask Taylor questions about her time in quarantine, her passion for music, what we can expect from her in the coming year, and her recent engagement. 

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Music City Girl: How have you been spending your time during quarantine? 

Ashley Taylor: I have honestly kept myself pretty busy. I’ve been writing lots of new songs, working on new music, and even picked up a new instrument. When I’m not working on music stuff, I’ve really enjoyed getting to just spend time with my family, read a good book, go hiking with my dog or binge-watch a show on Netflix. 

MCG: As your own quarantine bartender, what is your favorite drink that you’ve made? And can you share your recipe? 

AT: I am not really sure if I have any great recipes to share. I love a good Whiskey and Coke and I would say most nights you’ll find me with a cold can of PBR in my hand. I guess you can say I’m a pretty straightforward girl.

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Ashley Taylor was seventeen when she received her first guitar and started making music. Since moving to Nashville, she has performed at The Bluebird Cafe, Douglas Corner, and The Listening Room and has spent most of her time writing on Music Row. 

MCG: Before you got a guitar and decided music was your passion, what did you want to do and why? 

AT: I think I’ve always wanted to play guitar and be a musician even before I picked up the instrument and learned how to play. My back up plan for a while in high school was to be a pediatric nurse. I love kids and really wanted to just help people and for a while thought that might be a great path to take. I have so much respect for doctors and nurses and our other Frontline heroes. 

MCG: What is your favorite country song of all time? 

AT: It’s so hard to pick just one, but some of my favorites of all time are “There Is No Arizona” by Jamie O’Neal, “Just Like Him” by Brandy Clark & “Redneck Women” by Gretchen Wilson. 

MCG: What is one song that you wish you wrote? 

AT: There truly are so many great songs in the world and I really wish I wrote a lot of them. A song I heard recently though that I immediately wish I had written was “Things A Man Oughta Know” by Lainey Wilson.

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In January of 2019, Taylor released her debut EP “Bakersfield.” Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) has named Taylor “One to Watch” and she has been recognized by the Bakersfield Country Music Awards, the Josie Music Awards, and the KICMA Awards. 

MCG: If you could compare your sound to another artist, who would it be?

AT: I would say someone who’s had a major influence on my sound would be Brandy Clark. I am from Bakersfield, California originally so a lot of the Bakersfield Sound artists like Buck Owens, Dwight Yoakam, etc.. have definitely helped shape me as an artist.

MCG: What has been your favorite performance thus far?

AT: That’s a tough one. Honestly, they all are truly special & memorable for different reasons. Maybe I get the crowd to sing back to me, I nailed that high note or I met someone after the show that was so moved by a song I played or a story I told. It doesn’t matter if it’s a dive bar or a big show somewhere it makes them all special & unique.

MCG: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

AT: “When you think you’ve worked hard enough… work a little harder.” This has really stuck with me through the years.

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We are all ready for live shows, new music, and 2021 to be here already. 2021 will be a big year for Ashley Taylor, not only in music, but she will also be getting married. 

MCG: Congrats on your engagement! What are you most excited about when it comes to planning the big day?

AT: Thank you so much! To be honest, I am most looking forward to saying “I do.” My fiancé is an amazing person & I never thought I would get married until he came around. He truly makes everything better in my little world & I feel like by saying those two small words I get to spend the rest of my life with my best friend. No cake, dress, or whatever can mean more.

MCG: What can we expect from you in the next year?

AT: I feel like 2021 is going to be a big year for me. We have lots of things currently in the works. I know I am going to be releasing some new music. We also have plans to hit the road & lots more! So stay tuned.

To stay updated on what Ashley has going on, you can join her mailing list on her website, follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and listen to her music on Spotify.

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