Ashley Holland Rice by Allison Robertson
Ashen the Fall is a rock group from Abilene composed of Ric Rogers (lead guitar), Ryky Rogers (drums), and Ashley Holland Rice (lead vocals). The band is currently taking a hiatus. Life happens: Ric just got married and Rob Gebhard (bassist) left the group.
Ashley has loved to sing for most of her life. Her mom even recorded her singing at the age of 3. At age 12, she tried out for and got a spot in the Midland City Choir. As a teenager she led the youth choir at church and collaborated with the church band. Her musical talents followed her into high school, where she played the flute. She participated in other local band projects, Secondhand Prophets and Rockshow Revival.
Ashley has experienced difficulties as a woman in male-dominated genre. She was discouraged 10 years ago, when a local male musician told her, she “was not attractive enough to be a lead singer.” She has even had venues not want to hire the band because the band had a female lead singer.
Ashley declares, “We need to encourage more women to get out of their comfort zone and help them become leads and learn instruments. There is still a stigma in Abilene with female leads.” The music world is tough on everybody but she says to remember that “music is in the ear of the beholder” and “everyone has different tastes.” Not everyone will like what music you make, but some people will really love it.
Ashley’s influences range from classic to modern artists and from pop and rock. Among her biggest influences are Stevie Nicks, Layne Staley of Alice in Chains, Whitney Houston, Lzzy Hale, Steve Perry of Journey, and Chris Cornell (her all-time favorite). His cover of “Nothing Compares to You” is one of her favorite songs. She loves all genres and describes her music taste as eclectic.
Ashley’s greatest joys in life are her husband, Chaz, her two boys and her granddaughter, who she describes as a “beautiful ray of sunshine” in whom she sees parts of herself, her son, and her daughter-in-law.
Ashley, who joined Ashen the Fall in September 2020, has been forcing herself “into a new project to reignite her passion” for music. After the group announced taking a break for a while, Ashley was devastated and found herself with almost an “aversion to music.” Lately, Ashley has been collaborating with her friend and fellow music colleague, Terry Torregrossa, and will perform with him at upcoming shows.
Watch Ashen the Fall perform "Wicked Game"