In July, one of our little scene’s more beloved artists, Ansley Dougherty, packed her stuff into a little hatchback and made the 11-hour trek toward a new future by resettling in Music City, USA. Her move was spurred by advice from Cut Throat Finches keyboardist Eric Webb, who convinced Dougherty that if she really wanted to make it as a singer-songwriter, better opportunity awaited her in Nashville. When her boyfriend, electronic musician Chase Jewell, was open to the idea, it was an easy decision for her.
“The big reason that brought us here was the music infrastructure that exists,” she said in a recent phone conversation, noting that there she has a better shot “to find people to help you find sync licensing opportunities and to help you get on bigger tours and things like that.”
Upon arriving, she was quick to land on her feet. Through a simple Facebook introduction to musician Adam Barnes, who lives in town, Dougherty and Jewell were able to join a backing band for indie country artist Ryan Webster. In turn, Barnes, Jewell, and Webster are backing Dougherty in her own sets. Whether as a professional songwriter or as an artist in her own right, Dougherty said she feels she’s made the right decision in moving.
“I want to be known as a great songwriter,” she said. “Whether that’s just to my friends and the people who’ve heard my songs or whether it’s on a wider platform, that’s how I want to be known.”
To that end, Friday saw the dynamic Panic Volcanic frontwoman-turned-introspective-singer-songwriter release a new single, “Shadows.” Fittingly, the ballad seems to be about growth. “I’m a shadow of my former self,” she sings over the chorus. No doubt fans and friends continue to wish her the best in her continued growth.
They’ll get a chance to see her in town soon, as she’ll take the stage with Tony Diaz (Goodwin) to perform Peter Gabriel tunes at this year’s Fort Worth Rock Assembly at Lola’s Trailer Park in a few weeks.
Speaking of new beginnings, another life has been granted rubber-burning rebel rockers Chastity. Originally formed in 1987 by a group of high-school buddies, the five-piece made waves in what guitarist Omar Bocanegra calls the “Southwest Circuit,” attaining some respectable regional acclaim in Texas and Oklahoma during the turn of the decade into the ’90s with their brand of high-horsepower Southern rock.
The group disbanded about the time grunge became a household term, with a few members maintaining the odd cover band but, beyond that, lying dormant for 22 years. In 2012, the guys were approached by a fan from long ago who asked them to reunite and play a set to commemorate the closing of a Dallas club. The show was a success, with many of their old fans showing up to pay homage. The response to the gig inspired a handful of other appearances in nostalgia-focused lineups in the area over the next couple of years. Daybreak Hits guitarist (and father to Unlikely Candidates guitarist Brenton Carney) Jon Carney joined the reborn Chastity to take over bass-playing duties in 2013. Though not an original member, Carney went to the same high school as the others and was a fan from back in the day.
Lee Russell, DJ of underground radio station KNON’s Reckless Rock Radio show, happened to catch the quintet at one of their sporadic shows last year. He was inspired to recruit the band to cut a song for an as-of-yet-unreleased compilation album he’s been putting together. The group went into Hurst’s Sessionworks Studios with Russell and engineer Jeff Mount (Droidekka, Tum Tum) to record a single, “Satisfaction Guaranteed.” The session led to the band tracking five more songs, which are now being released as an EP. Revival stands as Chastity’s first new music in 30 years. They’ll celebrate its CD release on Saturday with a show at MASS with Lowside and Novakain.