Artist of the day: Carl Asch
Though you may not know the name Carl Asch, you might be familiar with his band’s music. The Celtic folk band the Empty Hats are frequent performers at festivals around Tampa Bay, including at the Saturday Morning Market in downtown St. Petersburg. They’ll be there this Saturday (2/18).
But Asch recently took a break from the Empty Hats to release his third solo album, Songs of the Open Road. A labor of love, Songs of the Open Road took three years to write, and is a love letter of sorts to the thousands of hours Asch has spent on the road over the past 30 years. It’s folk music that does have some Celtic touches, but expands into an array of musical styles thanks to a long list of genre-spanning collaborators from around the country.
Brand New Day showcases Asch’s Damien Rice-like vocals, and Come By The Hills a duet with Candace Night, is evocative of a Peter Gabriel world-music tune. (Also noteworthy: If there were a local Grammy for Best Album Packaging, Songs of the Open Road would win. The album includes a lushly illustrated 32-page booklet that tells the stories behind each song, such as how Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On was inspired by Hurricane Katrina.)