Basic Folk 226 – Taylor Ashton

Canadian-born, New York based banjo person Taylor Ashton’s second solo album, Stranger to the Feeling, was recorded on a coast to coast road trip during 2021. These were the two weeks post-vaccine where we thought everything was A-OK, so Ashton and producer Jacob Blumberg set out on a recording adventure that included collaborations with friends new and old. Ashton, who’s since become a new parent with wife Rachael Price (Lake Street Dive), wanted to create an album that “meditates on the meaning of closeness and connection in an age of increasing isolation.” The energy of the new album is just that and it is palpable alongside its use of space and natural sound (gotta love those birds and room noise).

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In our conversation, Taylor expands on the making of the album while addressing questions of the difficulty of reconnecting after the pandemic and how the music helped break that barrier of social isolation. We also go through a lot of the album’s songs and get to topics like crying while playing your own song, struggling with expressing feelings and not being and being cool. Taylor also graciously shares their thoughts on gender expression and walking the line of benefiting from the patriarchy and not feeling exactly like they embody the male gender all of the time. Being 6’2 and crying while listening to your own song maybe sums it all up? Or maybe you can’t summarize Taylor Ashton? I’m very grateful to welcome him back to Basic Folk!

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