Jessica Chismar is the lead voice of Ashes and Rain (A&R). Jessica began singing as a child (at every opportunity). She remembers her first experience with a microphone was at her Uncle Wally's house singing along to Mellencamp and Pat Benatar records. She was involved in Choir in elementary and middle school but by High School (F.J. Reitz-West Side-Evansville, IN) she took very few choir classes. Instead she involved herself in the Drama club, Journalism and was even the school mascot. Through the years following, Jessica sang at weddings and enjoyed singing Karaoke at every opportunity. Although she would occasionally “sit in” with a band, she hadn't actually thought to join/start one until 2008 upon the formation of Ashes and Rain. Some of Jessica's musical influences include: Pat Benatar, Heart, The Who, Journey, Amy Grant, Etta James, Madonna and B.B. King. She loves singing the blues and believes her passion for it started “because it was an original genre I could enjoy alone.” (Jessica's parents and 3 older brothers were mostly in to Rock n' Roll). Jessica's musical goal is to help Ashes and Rain achieve a strong fan base, create a CD of original music and just see where the music takes her.
Gary Moore provides keyboard and vocals to A&R. Gary has been a fan of many kinds of music for as long as he has had memory. It started as a kid with the great touring Big Bands that used to come to town to places that he could stand outside of and listen and, if lucky, sneak into. And,of course, the Radio. He got a somewhat late start playing music instead of just listening when, at about age thirty, a bass guitar entered his life through a swap for something or other. He found himself, in what seemed to him a rather short time, landing a job in a working band. As skills improved he was able to play bass and sing with several pretty good local rock bands. Green River was his favorite band and he played with this group for about a dozen years. He also found a gig as bassist with an early studio and backed several very talented local singers on "45's". During this period he was influenced mainly by Steppenwolf, CCR, Booker T & the MG's, and Ray Charles. Career influences made it necessary for him to give up music for a while (like 25 years). He guesses Ray's and Booker T's messages still lingered because he resurrected his music career with a keyboard. He re-entered music with a band called Reunion and played and sang good old Rock & Roll for a while. He had always liked Blues music, but never gave much thought to trying to play it until he started listening to performers like SRV, Buddy Guy, and Hendricks. He felt he had finally found his groove in these peoples music and the rather heavy rock/blues that had been coming out of Britain. He started playing traditional blues with a band called Cheap Date before joining Ashes and Rain. A&R's driving blues-rock is the kind of music he now loves to play because, although it is blues, through it people can tap their feet, boogie down, jump and shout, and hopefully get their mood uplifted as it does his.
Nick Wildeman is the bass and backbone of A&R. How did he get started in music? He has loved music since he was a small child. After 4 years of taking piano lessons he decided he wanted to play bass guitar. His first purchase was a bass from Dallas Music and a 5 watt practice amp. He went home, plugged it all in and turned on some Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith. The rest is history! Some of the bands Nick has been in include: Colossus (80’s metal), Fused (Hard Rock), Frontage Road (New Age/Pop), Hyper Radio (Pop), 7th Avenue(Classic Rock) & joined Ashes and Rain (Blues-Rock) in 2009. Some of his musical influences include: Aerosmith, Pink Floyd, Dave Matthews Band, Huey Lewis and Bootsy Collins. Nick's musical/general goal? “I think most musicians dream of a big stage. My goal is similar. I love to travel, thus I think touring would be amazing. However, I would be equally satisfied operating my own recording studio and filling in as a session musician.” Why Nick chose the blues? “I love me some blues. However, blues, to me, never reaches its full potential until it is mixed with a little funky slap and pop!”
Chad Connor brings lead guitar and vocals to A&R. When Chad was 13 he heard Aerosmith’s song, “Walk On Water,” and decided he wanted to play guitar in a “BAD way”. A couple months later, his parents bought his a guitar and some guitar lessons for his birthday. That’s when the fixation began! He played in his first band when he was 15 after responding to an ad in a music store put out by another 15-year-old. They ended up performing rock songs from the 60’s to the 90’s with the other 15-year old's mother and uncle. After that sort of ran its course, they found some people more their age and played some more modern stuff at summer festivals and any bar that would look the other way and hire a bunch of teenagers. They were called Axis. He also played in a hard rock / metal band called Contained around 2002-2003, doing the Mesker shelter house thing. When that didn’t go anywhere, Chad took a few years off to focus on school and getting a career going before starting up with A&R in early 2010. Some of Chad's musical influences include: Joe Perry (Aerosmith), Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Edge, Eric Clapton, Kings of Leon, Pete Yorn and the Gin Blossoms. Chad's musical goal: “I love working hard and playing out in front of a crowd and just rocking out. Whatever happens after that is gravy.” Chad's general goals are pretty similar: “Right now, I am all about having a good time meeting new people every weekend, throwing back a few and hopefully building a following in the process.” Why did Chad choose the blues? “Really no intelligent answer for this one. I guess one doesn’t really choose what it is they get into when it comes to music – it kind of chooses you by arresting your ears and taking your imagination hostage.”
Jim Schutte is the drummer for A&R. As a teenager, Jim's maternal Aunt married Pat Moore who soon after became his drum teacher. (Pat is the owner of Moore Music on Morgan Ave. in Evansville, IN.) Jim was involved in music at Mater Dei High School on the West side of Evansville joining the Marching, Jazz and Pep bands there. Some of the bands that Jim has been in include: Medusa (Rock n' Roll), X-Men (Punk), Excaliber (Rock n' Roll), Joe's Garage (Rock n' Roll) and Stick Shift USA (California style Rock n' Roll). Jim then took some time off from music. When he was ready to start playing again he made the shift to Blues and Blues-Rock. Jim says he likes the feeling you can put into the blues. The next bands he was a part of were: The Cheap Date Blues Band, The Painkillers, Uncle Woody and Fuzzy Roxx. Jim joined Ashes and Rain in 2010. Some of Jim's musical influences include: Stix, Rush, REO Speedwagon, Ted Nugent, Carlos Santana, The Eagles, KISS and AC/DC but he is inspired in general by music if it has a good beat, vibe or rhythm. Jim's Musical goal is to create and sell a CD of original music; but his general goal is always to “move the crowd” whenever he plays!