Plans for the release of his new album, Refried, were derailed by coronavirus, but Bean Weatherford isn’t letting quarantine stop the music.
Home. Love. Emotion. Those are three words that come to mind while listening to Ashley “Bean” Weatherford’s new solo album, Refried.
Originally from Danville, Virginia, Weatherford has been playing music since he was a teenager.
His music style transformed from punk to surf-rock as he moved from Virginia to California and back, playing in bands like Haints In The Holler and The You Go Girls. Through it all, though, he was always writing songs that were all his own.
“In all of that time, and even before I lived in California, I was writing country songs — even through the punk rock,” he said. “I wrote my first country song in high school. I grew up listening to Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, the old stuff my dad used to listen to.”
Through the eight songs on Refried, he is able to highlight his vocal talents and songwriting abilities. On some of the songs, he brings in his family and friends to help. “My sister-in-law Julie, from Doll Baby, has a killer voice and is on two of the songs on the album, singing with me,” he said. “We have sung together a lot in the past, and it was nice to have her voice with me on this album.”
In addition to a pun on his nickname, the album is named after the recordings that Weatherford did in order to complete this album. If they weren’t recorded at home, they were done at his personal studio. “We have a practice space down in Shockhoe Valley, we built a really nice studio there,” Weatherford said. “We spent a lot of time there, recording the album, and just got a bunch of super talented musicians and friends to come help.”
Weatherford’s album release was supposed to be accompanied by a launch party at Fuzzy Cactus, but the coronavirus pandemic forced a change of plans. “It was disappointing that it all went down this way,” he said. “I had a really cool release show set up that even had a refried bean taco special, just for the party.”
However, Weatherford still wanted to share his music and let people join in on the fun, so he and his band ended up doing a livestream from their own studio. In addition, it was streamed on the Fuzzy Cactus social media.
“At first, I couldn’t decide if I even wanted to release it or not,” he said. “But we ended up doing the online show, which means I’ll probably have an actual release party when everything calms down. And by then, people will already know the songs, so it’ll be fun no matter what.”
Weatherford said that playing for the online release show was “weird because there was no audience, but it was cool to see the comments and views and connect with people.” Since it was such a success, Weatherford and his friends and family were also talking about doing more livestreams and events through social media, either solo or with a band.
“This whole situation has allowed me to increase my online presence because everybody is just sitting around looking for things to do,” he said. “So why not get my music out there?”
Bean Weatherford’s solo album, Refried, is streaming on Spotify, Google Play Music, and Deezer. It can be purchased in digital form through Bandcamp.
Photos: Bean Weatherford, via Bandcamp