Maintaining musical tradition in Roswell

Local voice releases new record “Coming Home”

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ROSWELL, Ga.—Coming from a family of professional performers—the King Family and the King Sisters—music was always a part of gospel/bluegrass musician Ashley Harris’s life and always will be.

Harris, owner of Ragamuffin Music Hall in Roswell, released her fifth album “Coming Home” June 13, and has been nominated by GeorgiaCountry.com as the best vocalist of 2013.

“It’s really just about me giving thanks back to God for all the blessings and just enjoying my walk with him in my faith,” Harris said. “I really wanted to honor God with this project.”

“Coming Home” is a gospel/bluegrass record featuring five hymns, eight originals and two of Harris’s songs from previous albums.

“The lyrics and the content come from a place of uplifting messages, and it being bluegrass the sound is very organic and soothing,” Harris said. “It is very earthy, and joyful. The banjo is a very joyful instrument and there is a lot of banjo.”

Harris released her first record “Change My Heart” in 2001, and her second “The Best is yet to Come” in 2005. A Christmas EP was released in 2008, and her first international single “Unfinished Woman” was released in 2009.

“Unfinished Woman” became No. 1 on the independent world record report, and Harris was named artist of the year by 99.1 the Bull for local talent.

“It was really exciting, and I was making plans for a tour,” Harris said. “But I am a mother of three, and I was looking at the reality of how much time I would be away from home. I had a talk with God about it and decided to postpone the tour to put my family first.”

Soon after, Harris was approached to purchase Ragamuffin Music Hall. She and her husband decided to buy it to keep music in their lives.

“I felt like it was God’s answer to me that I made the right choice,” Harris said. “I could have time with my family and still be involved with music on a vocal level.”

Harris’s husband, Greg Gronholm, also collaborated and co-wrote many of the originals in “Coming Home.”

Harris said her inspiration for songs comes from her life and from reading the word of God.

“I pull from the experiences life brings: being a mom, being a wife and being a business owner who interacts with people on a daily basis,” Harris said. “The trials of life are important as well as learning to trust the journey. Good things will come back to you as you try to follow Him and be a good person.”

Ragamuffin Music Hall is a performance venue with shows on the weekends and open mic night every Thursday complete with a café serving up desserts, coffee and tea.

Harris is the head teacher for the music hall’s lessons ranging from guitar, voice, piano, ukulele and more.

Harris’s music is available through itunes. For listen to Harris’s music or for more information on Ragamuffin Music Hall, visit http://tinyurl.com/p94u6qc or www.ragamuffin.com.

This article appeared in the July 18 issue of Revue & News