New Sounds: Along the road to recovery, Corin Ashley never loses his musical focus


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Here’s a sentence that’s been said, written, and read rather excessively over the past 20-or-so years: Corin Ashley is a busy man.

Early last year the veteran Boston musician suffered a stroke of the right parietal lobe — which left him hospitalized with a paralyzed vocal cord and unable to move the fingers on his left hand. In the 14 months since, including a nine-month stretch of physical therapy, speech therapy, and vocal therapy where he re-learned how to play guitar, Ashley has worked his way back through recovery and continued his life’s plotline as a master guitar-pop maestro.

During a matinee April 2 at Atwood’s Tavern in Cambridge, Ashley celebrates two milestones — another birthday, and the release of Broken Biscuits, his long awaited follow-up to 2013’s excellent New Lion Terraces. The new record was crafted with the aid of a Pledge campaign, and one of its first singles, “Broken Biscuit #9,” can be heard below.

Broken Biscuits, Ashley writes on the Pledge page, was “beset by one small technical difficult: A stroke I suffered halfway through making it. Over the course of a year of physical and vocal rehab, and with the encouragement of many friends who supported and believed in me, I regained my voice and found that I had something to say about the experience.”

The new LP features contributions by Belly and Throwing Muses’ Tanya Donelly (Belly/Throwing Muses) and one track was recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis with Big Star’s Jody Stephens (who also contributes on drums). “Broken Biscuits is an album about being blown to little bits and then pulling myself back together,” Ashley adds.

The road to recovery has not taken away the former Pills frontman’s ability to wrap a killer hook around an important message. Ashley recently also dropped that he dubbed his first-ever protest song, inspired by the Boston Stands benefit series and aimed straight at the White House.

“In 30 years of writing songs, I’ve never done a straight-up protest song before, but I find myself very inspired by the women’s march and by my friends putting this show together. I did this on the quick with Jon Lupfer at Q Division with Matt Burwell on drums and Cliff Hillis. All proceeds go to the ACLU, please share. And if the lyrics offend your sensibilities, you’ll have to write a song of your own.”

His busyness rages on.

Featured Corin Ashley photo by Liz Linder. Release party details on the flyer, photographed by Angie C, below. #Strokereovery

Corin Ashley by Angie C _