Ashley Raines left his home in Kansas when he was 14, hitch-hiking and hopping boxcars. Somewhere along the way, he managed to become a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter.
Although he’s passed through Moab several times over the years, Raines has never performed here – until this weekend.
On Sunday, Aug. 23, from 6 to 10 p.m., the Kansas City-based Raines will perform what he calls his “new Western music” at the Peace Tree Juice Café, 20 S. Main St.
Twenty years ago, seasoned musicians such as Don Richmond and Don Conoscenti took Raines under their wings. Both men were multi-instrumentalists, and Raines said he soaked up everything he could from them.
Like a lot of musicians, Raines resists being pigeonholed into a particular genre – that’s why he labels his music “new Western.” And that’s why his band is called The New West Revue.
Raines said he writes songs somewhat reminiscent of Robert Johnson, or Hank Williams, Sr., but with his own spin.
In Moab, Raines will be performing solo.
Raines plays his signature Weissenborn, a custom hollow-neck lap steel guitar, as well as drums, upright bass, piano, drums, organ and occasionally viola.
He said he often plays music at Mystic Hot Springs in Monroe, Utah. And he’s opened for former Moab folk singer and songwriter Cosy Sheridan at venues outside of Utah.
Raines said he’s been touring nonstop for nine months out of the year over the past 20 years. For a while, he made southern Colorado’s San Luis Valley his home base. It’s where his heart remains, he said, and it’s where he used to perform for Creede Repertory Theatre musical productions. He eventually returned to his hometown of Kansas City, where he resides when he’s not traveling.
“I play for a living and have managed to pry the door open enough to continue,” Raines said. “Still, I go back to the streets to play often – and keep perspective.”
Raines has released 13 studio recordings since 2000. Although he said he doesn’t do a lot of covers, his latest album, “I’ll Fight,” is a collection of cover songs from artists such as Wilco, The Kinks, Tony Joe White and Bob Dylan. Also included on the CD are songs by some of his buddies, including David Baerwald, one of the composers of the 2001 film “Moulin Rouge!” The CD is set to be released on Tuesday, Sept. 8.
Peace Tree Juice Café owner Karen Whipple is quick to point out that Raines’ performance is not a concert per se, as there is no charge for the music. However, musicians always welcome tips, she said. Local and touring musicians contact her all the time about playing at the café, Whipple said.
“They play on the patio, where we have misters,” to keep things cool, she noted.
The Peace Tree Juice Café is famous for its fresh juices and healthy smoothies. The café serves breakfast, lunch and dinner – and is known for its wraps and salads, Whipple said. The Peace Tree also offers locally made wine and beer, plus cocktails.
Singer-songwriter to perform solo show with lap steel guitar
“I play for a living and have managed to pry the door open enough to continue … Still, I go back to the streets to play often – and keep perspective.”
Where: Peace Tree Juice Café, 20 S. Main St.
When: Sunday, Aug. 23, from 6 to 10 p.m.
Cost: Performance is free
Information: 435-259-0101 or www.ashleyrainesmusic.com