Ashley Maher | The Blessed Rain

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World: World Fusion World: African- West Moods: Solo Female Artist
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The Blessed Rain

by Ashley Maher

Joni Mitchell meets Paul Simon. World class songwriting fused with the rhythms and textures of West Africa and Latin America, featuring her glorious voice, luxurious tunes, and Paris/London's finest global musicians. Pure and sparkling world/folk/jazz.
Genre: World: World Fusion
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. And I Believe
4:35 $0.99
2. Spin Wild
4:45 $0.99
3. Crown for Adorning
4:53 $0.99
4. Deeper into Clay
5:08 $0.99
5. Ogoniland
4:08 $0.99
6. The Blessed Rain
4:38 $0.99
7. Blind
3:28 $0.99
8. Babalu
5:05 $0.99
9. You are the One for Me
4:07 $0.99
10. Fly
4:49 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
When James Taylor recorded "Rio" and Joni Mitchell recorded "Dreamland," when Paul Simon recorded "Rhythm of the Saints" and Peter Gabriel blew us away with "So," they were blazing trails for Ashley Maher*. This eclectic global songstress with the golden voice was signed to Virgin UK for five years before returning to the USA and a new beginning. Ashley has recorded four CDs with topnotch West African and Latin musicians from Paris, London, and L.A.

Born to British parents in Canada, and moving to Los Angeles when she was five, Ashley's gift as a singer was recognized early on. She grew up singing jazz, classical, choral, and medieval music and even studied opera in Italy for a year, before falling irrevocably in love with African music. Stumbling upon a class by Ghanaian master drummer, C.K. Ladzekpo, at UC Berkeley, Ashley knew she had found her calling. She studied drumming with him for two years, before graduating and heading straight to London in search of African musicians.

London was alive with global music. Ashley performed with her band for two years before collaborating with premier traditional dance and drumming group, Adzido, to record her first set of demos. The tape soon came to the attention of the record companies and she signed a contract with Virgin U.K.

Virgin released two records for Ashley. The first, named "hi," was met with critical acclaim and hailed as a promising debut. The second, "Pomegranate," featured a superb selection of Paris-based African musicians and again was met with positive press.

Said Nick Coleman of "Time Out," "Her tunes are almost indecently luxurious, the playing exquisite, and the arrangements as full of subtlety as you could wish...hers is a golden world, in which words are garlands, voices are a glow and drums...well, you know what they say about the drums."

Since then, Ashley has continued to develop as a solo artist. She has regularly recorded and performed in London, Paris, and L.A., sang as a backing vocalist on records by Youssou N'Dour and The Afro-Celt Soundsystem, and performed as a dancer for many African dance troupes. Ashley's third, independent CD, "The Blessed Rain," features some of West Africa's finest Paris/London-based musicians.

"Building a bridge between cultures," Ashley observes, "is fruitful when both sides love and understand one another's musical language. 'The Blessed Rain' is a more intimate record than my first two. Less epic, more earthy and simple."

Ashley relocated her family to Los Angeles to care for her mother when she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Since her mother's passing, Ashley has had a second child, while actively building her career, Stateside. Performing with LA's best West African and Latin musicians, dancers, and drummers, she has been thrilled to find audiences responding enthusiastically to the music and her band's shimmering shows across America.

Currently, Ashley is busy promoting her freshly finished fourth album: Flying Over Bridges. Look for it here on and her website! This follow-up to The Blessed Rain was produced by brilliant Cameroonian bassist, Andre Manga, and features LA's finest from Cameroon, Senegal, Brazil, Venezuela, Uruguay, and the USA.

For further reviews, photos, info, see her colorful and easily-surfable website:

* Maher rhymes with "star"



to write a review

Patrick Piersma

Music that does something to your ears, that you wouldn't forget!
Loved here second album. This one is also to good for your ears. It's pure and sparkling! Please Ashley, make the next one...I can't wait!

david joyce

wonderful singing, great songs, killer world-beat meets "pop"
Ashley's the real deal. Great writing, interesting production ideas - combining "western" commercially viable hooks with world-beat, African drumming.
I love this cd, and am going to hear her perform LIVE tonite!


A consistently luxurious, thought-provoking and soothing set of tunes
Blessed Rain is hands-down one of my favorite CDs of all time. I think by now I know every word to every song because I've listened to it so many times. My 2 & 3 year-olds frequently tell me that they want to listen to "Ashley." The lyrics are unique, intelligent, and thought-provoking--both universal and personal in their messages. The music is equally complex, rich, and lush.


... like fishes in a clear lake. Splendid!
I well and truly enjoyed listening to both albums ''Flying Over Bridges'' and ''The Blessed Rain." I could hear a lot of Joni Mitchell's sound and Paul Simon's Graceland from 1986. I will give both 10 out of 10.

Why? Because I find the tunes quite luxurious, the playing exquisite, and the arrangements as full of subtlety as one could wish. Your vocals flow over the drums and percussions like fishes in a clear lake. Splendid!

I would dearly love to see you and the band live sometime in the near future.

Shona Kelly Wray

I love this cd!
The beauty and complexity of Ashley's music is astounding. I never tire of the rich poety of her lyrics sung with her honeyed voice and intricate rhythms. The deep emotions, intelligence, and diversity of her music on this cd are so satisfying. It's why we want music in our lives.

Richie Long

It is absolutly criminal that our airwaves are poisoned by souless crap like dido and all the other agents of Satan when there is an album like the Blessed Rain which is the most accessable and heartwarming Album by Miss Maher yet.Crown for adorning is fab.Gods curse on all radios that do not play tunes from this!!!!

C. Parducci

Blessed Rain is the first disc in my CD player, the first I punch on entering th
Blessed Rain has a clean, pared down feel. It's the kind of music you want to sit with, sing with, drink a glass of wine to. I play it at least once a day!

Peter, UK

So nice to hear \'real\' music nowadays
I bought Ashley’s first 2 albums in 1990 and 1992, and then heard nothing………I stumbled across her website a few weeks ago and now am the proud owner of her 2 latest cd’s. It has definitely been worth the 14 year wait! Both albums are incredible - it is so nice to hear ‘real’ music nowadays. This album seems more optimistic overall than the previous albums. The hypnotic drums set the tone and Ashley’s vocals fly like an angel over the lovely music. My favourites so far - ‘The Blessed Rain’ (I can’t get that lovely chorus out of my head, sign of a great ‘pop song‘!!!) and ‘Spin Wild’.

Jerome Cruitt

If you love music and life, you will love Ashley Maher!
Quite simply, if you love music and life, you will love Ashley Maher! Just as rain nourishes the earth, Ashley nourishes the soul. With a thoughtful tapestry of vocals and world rhythms, the Blessed Rain is an afternoon shower that cleanses, uplifts and renews the spirit. I am new to this gem of an artist after the fortunate opportunity of a recent live performance. Immersed in Ashley's CDs for a couple of weeks now, I continue to feel very lucky on my discovery. I think you will find that she assimilates her life into art in a very personal, unique and endearing way.

On the Blessed Rain, Ashley celebrates melody and rhythm with her well layered vocals, reflective words and an implicit thankfulness that resounds. Ashley brings together some very inspirational players and cultivates a musical community that will make your heart sing. I can hear the smiles of the musicians as these infectious grooves lock and soar. A nice blend of traditional world beats, funk, folk and soul. Lots of cool vocal styling. Would love to hear an extended mix as the grooves are very therapeutic. I get the sense that she had a blast singing and arranging these sessions.

The music is so real and the human spirit so tangible. Ashley, as poet, singer and musician, is a true gift to the listener. A wonderful voice for all to hear!


A beautiful fusion
A beautiful fusion of evocative sounds of different worlds joined in music, melody and song! Songs sung with a voice so versatile and oh so expressive. Great stuff!
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