Self described “yoga songstress” Ashlee K Thomas brings her eclectic brand of singing and songwriting she calls “earthfolk” to Moab with a series of shows starting at the Blu Pig on Saturday, July 9, and continuing at Eddie McStiffs on Monday July 11, and Tuesday, July 12.
Thomas describes her music as “interesting and lyrical, a blend of folk and rock that speaks with a raspy truth.”
Thomas is also an avid practitioner and teacher of yoga, and says that she sees a parallel path between her two endeavors. She teaches and practices yoga while touring, and brings songs to her classes.
“Yoga and music are the same for me,” she said. “Both are healing – difficult yet quite simple.”
Raised at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains, but now living in Nashville, Thomas said that growing up in nature has had a profound effect on her singing and songwriting.
An accomplished musician, Thomas began playing violin at age four. She has played with the Utah Symphony and earned a music scholarship to college, but it is when she picked up a guitar and started singing that she said she found her true musical voice.
Thomas released her first album, “Peace is in the Trees,” in 2006, and embarked on a tour of the western United States. She donated 10 percent of her record sales to the United Leukodystrophy Foundation to help find a cure for the disease that took her brother’s life.
In 2008, Thomas released the EP “Aedis,” and in 2011, the self titled “Ashley K Thomas.” She is currently talking a break from recording in Nashville, to again tour the western United States, but says that she will be promoting a new album as soon as it’s done.
“It’s a fun dose of truth, and I’m really excited for what it is shaping out to be,” she said.
Local musician Scott Ibex said that Thomas’s music “has a lot of soul.”
“Her lyrics tell captivating stories about coming of age and love,” Ibex said. “Her music grabs you with a relatable sensibility and takes you away when her natural vibrato kicks in. That’s what it’s about.”
Thomas credits her move to Nashville, in pursuit of her musical craft, with helping her to find her other purpose in life which is yoga. As a yoga instructor, both on the road and in Nashville, Thomas said that she sees no separation between sharing music and sharing yoga.
“Yoga is slow medicine, and music is its perfect complement,” she said. “When people practice yoga, their bodies and minds begin to open. That opening causes a lot of different sensations, including bliss, fear, love, energy, vulnerability and even some pain. If I can guide them toward an opening, physically and emotionally, and then put honest words and songs into that place, it can assist them in their transitions.”
Thomas has also spent years traveling the world, exploring, practicing yoga, and sharing her music from Panama, Peru, and Mexico to India, Kauai and throughout the United States.
Blu Pig owner Jake Tanner said he was looking forward to Thomas’s performance on Saturday night.
“She played here last summer and drew a good local crowd,” Tanner said. “It was a great show but it was in the middle of the week. This time we have her on a Saturday and we are looking forward to packing the house with guests and locals.”
Thomas said that she is excited to return to Moab, and that it was a “gift” to be able to play here.
“I’m so excited to drink Matrimony’s water, and dip in the Colorado,” she said. “There is no land quite like mystic Moab.”
Music and yoga both paths to healing she says
“Yoga and music are the same for me. Both are healing, difficult yet quite simple,”
When and Where: Saturday, July 9, 8 p.m. at the Blu Pig, 811 S. Main St. Monday, July 11, Tuesday, July 12, 8 p.m. at Eddie McStiffs, 57 S. Main St.
Cost: Free, must be 21