Two weeks ago, a couple hundred friends and music lovers gathered for the second annual Ash Bash, celebrating the memory of Ashton Ilbery.
Event t-shirts were sold and all of the profit donated. All kinds of food was available and then there was the musical entertainment.
The opening act was comprised of some of the members of Moonbeam Lane, Snake Lane Revue and Bad Boy. John Metcalf, Sharon Smith, Larry Barringer, Bill Kelton, Larry Karcher and Laura White-Vladetich played some blues, some country rock and some oldies, and kept the growing crowd entertained.
Then, after a short break, the after-dark act came on, Sacred Edge.
I talked with lead vocalist Shane West about his musical history.
“I jumped into my first band three years ago,” West said. “The band was called Cherry Bomb. I never played bass before, but was asked if I would learn it. Of course I said yes. I was a little nervous about being in a band. I played guitar somewhat, usually at the house alone, but felt this was the right move.
“With the encouragement of my girlfriend, Crystal Dees, I grabbed a bass and worked my butt off and learned the songs within a month and was ready to go. I played for them for about three months, when they decided to break up. But, Joe Corso, from Metal Toyz was looking for a lead singer for his band. Their lead vocalist, Billy Mercer, was moving on to start his own band. I told him I’d love to try out. I auditioned live and got the job that night.
“I was pretty excited. I never sang before, and had so many things to learn. My biggest help came from Billy. He did everything from burning me CDs with vocal lessons and exercise on them, to actually showing me how to breathe properly and little tricks that help you sing through out the night.”