Guitar Blasters Vol. 1, Ashley Kingman
Buckshot Records, BUCKEP-001

I had the distinct pleasure of doing a show the other night with Big Sandy and The Fly Rite Boys. As most of you are probably already aware, these cats have old school 50's style hillbilly bop down to a science. No news there. One of the nice parts about being a working musician is getting to work with musicians from all over. We tend to make 'fast friends'. Ashley Kingman is no exception. Within five minutes of our meeting (while we were both loading gear into the club), we hit it off. We were discussing gear, differences between the UK & US, and characters we know.

Shortly after our meeting, Ashley handed me a copy of his new EP, "Guitar Blasters Vol. 1". To my knowledge, this is currently only available on 7" vinyl. It may be available as a download...but don't quote me on that. I rarely download that's uncharted territory for me.

As I stated, it's an EP. Only 4 songs...but all 4 are killer tracks! And, for you fans of the electric guitar out there, they're all instrumentals! The choice of releasing this on vinyl should be obvious: Everything just SOUNDS BETTER ON VINYL. Buckshot records opted for some excellent quality/weight vinyl for this release, so it should hold it's sound for a long time to come! (Always beware the blunted needle!)

Side A starts out with a Kingman original, "Juice & Jive". A nice rockin' shuffle with Ashley's unique signature sound along with some great, raspy sax, courtesy of Marco Palos. Fellow Fly Rite Boys Kevin Stewart & Joe Perez fill out the rhythm section on upright bass and drums, respectively. Side A closes with Kingman's take on the Chet Atkins gem "Hybrid Corn". If you dig Chet/Merle style picking, you're gonna love this!

Side B opens with a unique take on the old standard "Mr. Sandman". I played this song for years in my sets but never quite like this! Ashley Kingman makes it his own! His soloing is fluid and boppin', and it makes this already enjoyable classic even more enjoyable! The EP closes out with another Kingman original song, "Roughneck City". Starting with some manic drum fills, the song brings to mind old hot rod movies. The feel of this song is rough and gritty and I, for one, have transfered the song to digital as it's a great song to drive to!

If you're a fan of Big Sandy & The Fly Rite Boys, or just a fan of R&R guitar instrumentals, this EP is a must have! As the title states, this is Volume 1. I'm already anxiously awaiting Vol. 2...and 3...and 4...and as many more as Ashley Kingman cares to release! This is my kinda sound! All 4 songs sound like long lost unreleased nuggets from the late 50s...found in pristine condition. You can order this directly from Buckshot Records, or your personal choice of sellers...or you can buy it directly from Ashley at a Big Sandy & The Fly Rite Boys show. They're on the road...go catch them live! The boys always put on a helluva show!

Side A: Juice & Jive/Hybrid Corn
Side B: Mr. Sandman/Roughneck City

Ashley Kingman - Guitars
Jeff West - Bass (Hybrid Corn)
Kevin Stewart - Bass (Mr. Sandman)
Joe Perez - Drums
Marcos Palo - Sax

Reviewed by Memphis Mike, 2012