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Dan Ashley Ready to Rock Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo

The Daily Journal

August 31, 2023

Award-winning news anchor Dan Ashley appears on Bay Area TV sets every night but Friday he will be rocking out at the Hillsdale Shopping Center.

For more than 25 years, Ashley has worked for ABC7 news station where he has won numerous awards. His experience as a journalist gives him a unique perspective of the Bay Area. For the past decade, he became more involved in the musical world and recently released an album with 11 original songs. He said writing music and journalism isn’t that much different because it is the art of storytelling, which is his passion.

“I am always trying to observe people and understand what is happening in our community and it crosses over a lot,” Ashley said. “And it gives me a chance to connect with people and issues in a unique way.” The community will be able to connect with Ashley from 6-8 p.m. Sept. 1 at the Hillsdale Shopping Center in front of the Pinstripes restaurant and bowling venue. The show is named Rock the Block and Ashley’s set is the first of five consecutive Friday night shows playing through Sept. 29.

Ashley and his band will be playing Americana rock ’n’ roll songs from his 2021 album, “Out There.” He wrote the original songs with his co-writer Bill Bentley.

“What moves me the most as a songwriter is Americana rock ’n’ roll, I like the imagery and the sound of it,” Ashley said. “An acoustic electric guitar, those chord progressions can fill you with pride and emotion. It is music that can elevate you.”

The songs he writes are often stories he’s experienced as a journalist. For those who are unfamiliar with Ashley’s catalogue, he will also be playing cover songs plenty of people will know, he said.

“It’s a high-energy performance with a high level of musicianship, and they will hear original songs about things in the community about people they will be able to relate to,” Ashley said.

When Ashley isn’t playing his own music, he said he loves listening to classic rock bands such as the Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, John Mellencamp, James Taylor and Aerosmith.

As a child, Ashley played multiple instruments such as guitar, drums, trumpet and junior choir at his church in North Carolina. His grandmother was an accomplished pianist, which was part of his childhood summers at the family farm, according to DanAshleyMusic.com.

In the last 15 years, Ashley reintroduced himself into the musical world and, ever since, he’s been hooked. Ashley and his band played most recently at Outside Lands in San Francisco and he has toured out of state and around the Peninsula. He has opened for world-renowned artists such as Cheap Trick, Eddie Money and Melissa Etheridge. He has also shared the stage with musical legends, most notably Dionne Warwick, according to his website.

Ashley doesn’t have any immediate plans to switch careers, however, music and his band has become more of a passion project.

“The station has been so supportive and really it doesn’t interfere,” Ashley said. “Performing live is really fun and sharing the music with people is really cool. It is a totally different intimate connection with the audience and it is all very present.”

Visit DanAshleyMusic.com for more information on bookings, shows and ways to order his album.