Ashley Winters drives Country Music in a refreshing new direction with a style and debut EP she calls Country Noir.

Her throwback approach manifests in her vocals, rooted in blues tradition and honed by years of listening to a wide array of artists. Born in Cave Creek, Ariz., she started taking voice lessons at age 10, eventually studying opera and singing lead roles in “Camelot,” “Gypsy,” “My Fair Lady” and other musical theater productions

Based now in Franklin, Tenn., the singer/songwriter best expresses herself through songs she has written. There are three on Country Noir that she penned on her own: “Hold Your Horses,” “Photographs” and “It’s Not Me.” Additionally, she co-wrote “After the Break” (Winters, Noah Gordon and Robert Wright) and “For the Ride” (Winters, Jeremy Campbell and Wright).

Winters works with a team of producers, managers, publicists, photographers and directors, none of whom is a stranger to success in the world of Country Music. These include producer Robert Wright, managers Kevon Glickman and Jill Pavel from Blingnot Media and photographer/director Jim Shea.

Country Noir releases on Feb. 14. Her Blingnot Tour begins in May, starting with Atlanta.

Who is your musical hero?

“Bobbie Gentry.”

What album tops your playlist?

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ Greatest Hits.”

Who is your dream duet partner?


What book is on your nightstand?

“My songwriting book because I often wake up in the middle of the night with ideas. And my mother’s Bible.”

What do you sing in the shower?

“‘Burning Down the House,’ by Talking Heads.”

What is your pet peeve?

“People who know a road lane is ending but still don’t merge and instead race to cut you off.”

What song do you wish you had written?

“‘Angel from Montgomery.’”

What do you find yourself saying over and over again?

“‘Everything happens for a reason.’”

What mode of transportation do you prefer?

“Anything but planes. I’m terrified of flying!”

What actress would portray you in a biopic about your life?

“Grace Kelly.”

What moment in your life would you relive if you could?

“It’s not about reliving. It’s about continuing to live.”

Do you have a lucky charm?

“My mother’s angel necklace.”

What do you hope people will say about you when they look back on your life?

“That I was a good person who they looked up to.”

What would you put in your personal time capsule?

“All of my unfinished song lyrics scribbled on various pieces of paper.”

If you weren’t a musical artist, what would you be?

“An actress.”

What was your greatest performance to date?

“Honestly, my favorite was singing for a classroom of elementary school children. I know that I inspired many young, budding artists that day!”

What is your favorite food on the road?

“Anything from Starbucks!”

What was your first gig?

“It was at an American Legion in Arizona. And it was an amazing experience! I ended up line dancing with veterans and dueting with one on ‘Walking After Midnight.’”

What would we never guess about you?

“I practice Muay Thai.”

Check out Ashley Winters’ official website at or follow her on Twitter, @awintersmusic.

Ashley Winters tells her story here:

Check out Ashley Winters’ video for “After the Break” here:

Photography: Jim Shea