YouTube-famous Blue Line busker Ashley Stevenson drops her first studio album | Gossip Wolf | Chicago Reader

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YouTube-famous Blue Line busker Ashley Stevenson drops her first studio album

Plus: Dirt-rock ragers Hitter release their debut full-length, and indie-pop six-piece Spun Out share a single fit for future dance floors.


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Ashley "Slim" Stevenson - PHOTO BY ASHLEY STEVENSON
  • Photo by Ashley Stevenson
  • Ashley "Slim" Stevenson

In 2016, a video of Ashley "Slim" Stevenson performing a goosebump-inducing cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide" on the Washington Blue Line platform went viral. Since then it's racked up more than 25 million YouTube views, and until the pandemic stopped her, Stevenson continued to sing and strum her acoustic guitar for appreciative commuters. On April 16, she released a full-length of her own knockout songs, Freedom, recorded with local producer Prov Krivoshey. The album deftly captures her sublime guitar work and soulful vocals—with no interruptions from passing trains! "I do eventually hope to perform at the Washington Blue Line again, because it's where I felt the most free as a musician," Stevenson says. "But the next goal is to start traveling and creating new content." For now, you can download Freedom from Bandcamp!

  • The famous video of Ashley "Slim" Stevenson playing Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide" on the Washington Blue Line platform

Since debuting in 2018, Hitter have become one of Chicago's most ferocious bands, and the hi-watt dirt rock on their debut LP, Hard Enough, could power the city's electrical grid! Singer Hanna "Hazard" Johnson (formerly of Lil Tits), Meat Wave drummer Ryan Wizniak, and guitarist Adam Luksetich (former Foul Tip bassist and Johnson's bandmate in Lifestyles) recorded the album in October. Bassist Patrick Woodall joined after the sessions, and Hitter dropped the album last week via Bandcamp. "With a lockdown in full swing and no end in sight, it seems that this is actually the best time to self-release our record," says Johnson. "Why sit on this piece of rock 'n' roll gold until things hopefully someday return to normal?" This wolf couldn't agree more!

Last week local indie-pop six-piece Spun Out (which includes former Ne-Hi members Michael Wells and James Weir) dropped a sparkling new single, "Such Are the Lonely," that embraces the bouncy melancholy of golden-age New Order. It'd sound really great on a packed dance floor—here's hoping we can all get together on one soon!  v

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