After nearly a decade of performing in bars and putting out homemade CDs, singer-songwriter Luke Ash and his wife, Emily, decided that the time was right to put out a proper album.
No more crayon drawings as album art. No more lo-fi recordings. Whatever they did next had to be something they would be proud to pass on to their four children.
"I had so many terrible recordings," Ash said. "Nothing was on the level of what we were actually doing and writing. My thought was that if I die and my kids stumbled on the stuff I had recorded ... I would be embarrassed in a way. We wanted to put enough bones on the table to get something back that we knew would be good."
Throughout last year, the couple teamed up with Baton Rouge musicians and friends to record a new album, titled "Good Weld." The duo worked on the album at engineer/producer John Tulley's studio, The Legendary Noise Floor. Multi-instrumentalists Ben Herrington, Joel Willson and Paul Buller, and drummer Chad Townsend filled out the songs.
This weekend, the pair celebrates the release of "Good Weld." Sunday's show starts at 7 p.m. at Dyson House Listening Room in Baton Rouge. Clay Parker and Willson open the show. Tickets are $15 online and $20 at the door.
"I know it's an unorthodox day to have an album release on, but I wanted everyone who played on the record to be there and play," Ash said.
The new album approaches family and faith but not in a forceful way. The intention here was to be honest about life, even if it seemed "a little rose-colored," he said.
"My perspective about family and my faith and everything is going to naturally come out as a byproduct of me just being honest," he said. "I don't have to talk about 'This is what a family is,' or 'This is what Christianity is like.' ... If I'm being honest, I can talk about whatever is on the top of my head."
Faith, family and music are all interwoven to Ash, but even he knows how it can sound to hear a guy talk about his faith.
"I know how offensive it can be, sharing faith," he said. "I want my music to be winsome. In the same way I share in conversation, I don't want to be heavy-handed, but it's indelibly there."
The music is largely acoustic. You could call them ragged hymns. Ash has no idea what genre it would be in or how to describe the sounds. Tulley perhaps described it best, saying the music had no gimmicks.
"He said that when I sing and perform, people don't have anywhere to dodge," Ash said. "It's hitting them right where they are."
Luke & Emily Ash 'Good Weld' CD Release show with Clay Parker and Joel Willson
WHEN: 7 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: Dyson House Listening Room, 7575 Jefferson Highway, Baton Rouge
COST: $15 in advance, $20 at the door