Newcomer brings bluesy spin to Make-A-Wish CDWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
Many of the artists on “Holiday Wishes 2,” the benefit album for Make-A-Wish Foundation, are veterans when it comes to recording. However, Ashley Rose Norris, who sings “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” is new to the business.
“I’m really excited to be a part of [“Holiday Wishes 2”] and I can’t think of a better way to support a great cause,” Norris said.
The two-disc set features 44 tracks by local artists and is available for $15 at local Panera Bread stores and select shops at Levis Commons. All proceeds go to Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana to help grant wishes for Northwest Ohio children with life-threatening medical conditions.
Norris serves as the Monday night bartender at Manhattan’s (in addition to being jack of all trades at the restaurant). During open-mic nights, she often sings with the bands. A friend noticed her skills and recommended that she lend her voice to “Holiday Wishes 2.”
Jeff Williams, an “amazing blues artist,” helped arrange the track for Norris, she said. The result is a slow, bluesy version of the popular track.
“We just kind of played it and went for it,” Norris said. “We just jibed really well together.”
“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” was first sung by Judy Garland in the film “Meet Me in St. Louis.”
Norris said she chose the tune because, “It’s a classic Christmas song. It’s one of my favorites and I have always remembered that I enjoyed singing along to it.”
She moved to Toledo from Indiana at age 10. She grew up singing in church and with family.
“My dad and his family, they’re all singers and it was kind of me and my dad’s thing that we always did together,” she said.
Norris said she enjoyed meeting other musicians and exchanging business cards at the Make-A-Wish benefit concert earlier this month.
“This entire experience is completely new for me,” she said. “I had a great time getting to meet different people.”
Still, Norris said she has no concrete plans for her career — yet.
“I enjoy taking it a day at a time. I’m excited about what we’ve accomplished this far. I’m hoping that it does open up some more opportunities.
I would love to be able to make a career out of singing and music, but right now it’s at the beginning,” she said.