From the desk of Ed Pearl


From Ed Pearl,
Founder of the Ash Grove,
July 11, 1958 through November 11, 1973

The Ash Grove Tapes

During the 15+ year span of the original Ash Grove we not often enough taped performances, mostly of great traditional artists brought from whence the music was born and bred. Hundreds, from Bill Monroe and Lightning Hopkins to Johnny Cash and Muddy Waters.  The ‘kids’ who soaked in this steady outpouring include Ry Cooder, Bonny Raitt, Taj Mahal, Linda Ronstadt, et al – who themselves have become icons of great art and influence.  Most of the tapes somehow escaped the fires which devoured the club, and I’ve kept them closeted, literally.

Over the years record companies regularly wanted to cherry-pick the best-known, which I’ve resisted, always wanting to have the broadest possible public experience the history, the depth and vast variety of American music and cultures we presented.  Check our artist’s list at I remain in awe whenever I look at it.

Around one year ago I was introduced to Bill Sagan, of Wolfgang’s Vault. We hit it off on many levels, but especially on his and associates determination to do just what I always wanted, and with the technical expertise and capacity to reach an audience I’d only dreamed about. And so, it is coming to pass. I’m delighted and send my warmest wishes to all that you enjoy the experience much as I  will.


Ed Pearl

Published in: on April 28, 2009 at 10:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Ash Grove Recordings Now Available!

Ash Grove Concerts!

We’ve released our first batch of recordings from the famed Ash Grove venue! These recordings have been meticulously transferred from the original Ash Grove tape vault over the past year, and are now available for download in MP3 and lossless FLAC. We’ve got sets from:

I’ve had the pleasure of listening to all of these recordings over the last few weeks, and they all completely blow me away – the absolute genius of these musicians becomes so apparent as they handle themselves in front of an audience. There’s a lot of classic material, as well as some stuff you’ve never heard from these musicians before. Enough ramblin’ – Head over to Concert Vault and listen to these incredible recordings right now: recordings from the Ash Grove

From The Archive – Reverend Gary Davis

We can talk all about the significance of this on Monday. For now, just take my word that what is on this tape has the power to change your life…

Published in: on April 18, 2009 at 9:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A Conversation With Ash Grove Founder Ed Pearl

Back in September Steve Rosenthal and I visited Ed in L.A. for a few days to learn more about his life and the Ash Grove.  We sat in his living room for hours talking about everything from his politically active childhood to the final fire that ultimately closed the club for good.
It was one of those experiences that I know I’ll remember for a long time. Thankfully, we recorded the entire thing and plan to start releasing portions of it on Concert Vault in the coming weeks. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this clip of Ed and Steve discussing the Harry Smith Folk Anthology and how it helped shape Ed’s vision for the Ash Grove…
Published in: on April 17, 2009 at 3:17 pm  Comments (1)  
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From The Archive

Trolling through the archive today putting together a playlist for the upcoming release of Ash grove music on Concert Vault and was consumed by a Ramblin’ Jack Elliot set from 1963. dsc_13702I was initially looking for all the different versions of the The Talking Blues the Ash Grove has to offer. Merle Travis, Sam Hinton, Doc Watson and others all bring something unique to the style arguably invented and certaintly popularized by Woody Guthrie. But Jack Elliot does it with such ease and honesty that you’d think he was making it up right there on the spot. It’s exactly that sort of lack of affectation that made the Ash Grove the sort of place it was. A place where all kinds of people flocked to share and share in the authentic culture of others. Look for Jack’s version next week on Concert Vault

Published in: on April 13, 2009 at 10:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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From The Archive

had to share this…. img_01103Lightnin Hopkins splitting a bill with the Rising Sons in May of 1965… it really doesn’t get much better.

Published in: on April 10, 2009 at 4:35 pm  Comments (1)  
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From The Archive

Working on transferring an amazing Kentucky Colonels set today from the Ash Grove in 1964. Have to keep checking the speed on the machine everytime Clarence White takes a solo. Crazy…

Published in: on April 3, 2009 at 3:37 pm  Comments (1)  
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Never-before-released Lightnin’ Hopkins Track

We’ve just posted a never-before-released track of Lightnin’ Hopkins performing “Baby Please Don’t Go”. It was recorded live at the Ash Grove in Los Angeles in 1964. The track is absolutely amazing – you just have to close your eyes and listen: Feel free to share it with anyone else you think gets the importance of this music…