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Published May 08 2013

Ashe brings blues to FM’s Finest (with finale voting)

FARGO – FM’s Finest takes on a shade of blue tonight as rock and roll singer-songwriter Rob Ashe takes the stage at The House of Rock at The Hub.

FM’s Finest is a weekly concert series sponsored by The Forum and music promoter Jade Presents. This is the second-to-last entry in the series.

Tonight, Ashe will also be joined by Mark Reitan, a singer and mandolin player, and Nate Pitcher, a singer and guitarist, who he plays with in a band called Boots. He’ll also be accompanied by members of a band called The Vistas for an electric blues rock set.

In general, Ashe describes himself as a blues musician and guitarist, though he admits that blues as a genre has a pretty wide definition.

His particular musical sound, he says, has its origin with artists such as blues pioneers Robert Johnson and Doc Watson.

“I think the style of music that I play is firmly rooted in the tradition of Delta blues and 60’s and 70’s blues rock,” Ashe says.

Ashe calls himself an intense performer, and someone who goes “all-in” at his shows.

“If someone takes the time to turn an ear to what I’m doing or come out to see me play in a bar somewhere, I owe it to them to go as hard as I can every time,” he says.

Ashe has been playing in bands for more than 10 years now, “which is actually a scary thing to think about,” he says.

In those 10 years, he says one of his most memorable sets was opening for blues veteran Buddy Guy at the 2012 Winter Fest in Fargo.

“That was the biggest show that I have played as a solo musician, and it was incredible getting a chance to open up for one of the most legendary blues performers that has ever walked the earth,” Ashe says.

After he finished playing that day, but before Guy took the stage, the blues legend signed Ashe’s guitar, “which is about as much as you can ask for as a blues musician,” Ashe says.

If you go

What: FM’s Finest Week 10: Rob Ashe featuring members of Boots and The Vistas

When: 9 tonight

Where: House of Rock at The Hub, 2525 9th Ave. SW, Fargo

Info: Admission is $5; 21-and-up show

Series to close with outdoor concert

FARGO – FM’s Finest will take its finale to the streets this summer.

The 11-week local concert series wraps up May 16 at The House of Rock at The Hub, but there’ll be one more show after that: an outdoor downtown finale.

The concert, sponsored by The Forum, music promoter Jade Presents and the Downtown Community Partnership, is set for 5-10 p.m. on June 14 on Second Avenue N. between Broadway and the alleyway.

Jed Pahan, vice president of the Downtown Community Partnership, says he’s excited about what the event means for downtown Fargo.

“We’re more than thrilled to bring back the excitement of local music in an outdoor event,” he says.

Fans will decide which bands play the concert. Each group that participated in FM’s Finest is eligible, and fans are encouraged to vote for their favorite. The top three vote-getters will play the outdoor show.

Voting will take place online at www.fmfinest.areavoices.com, and will run from today until May 24.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Sam Benshoof at (701) 241-5535