HAVING spent seven years on the road as part of her dad’s band, Ashley Campbell feels that she has served her apprenticeship and is now ready to establish herself as an artist in her own right.

The daughter of the great Glen Campbell, Ashley is now making a name for herself in the country scene.

Her debut album, The Lonely One, is out tomorrow and at the weekend she will appear at the UK’s biggest country festival C2C before a series of shows around the UK, including a date in Manchester.

“I’ve always been a fan of more practical learning styles,” she laughed. “You can learn all you want in the school room but until you are out there doing it, you can’t really know what it’s like. Touring is definitely a much more thorough version of music college.”

Glen Campbell, who died in August after living with Alzheimer’s for a number of years, remains a major inspiration for Ashley.

“He was an incredible performer and showman,” she said, “and I learned so much just from watching him on stage and being able to back him up.”

Ashley played banjo and sang backing vocals as Glen Campbell toured - she was also joined by brother Shannon who is now part of her touring band.

But it could have all be very different if she had followed her original career path.

“Originally I wanted to be an actress and do comedy,” she said. “So I moved to LA and was working very hard on doing that for a couple of years when I was at college but all the signs kept point to music and eventually I got the hint.”

The Lonely One features 13 songs all co-written by Ashley which range from bluegrass stompers to poignant tales of heartbreak.

“I wanted the album to show my eclectic taste in music,” she said. “I don’t think anyone should be pigeonholed into one specific thing. You should just be true to who you are and the album is very much who I am.

“Most of the songs were written after I’d been on tour with my dad when I moved to Nashville but the album was still about four years in the making.”

So does The Lonely One reflect who Ashley is?

“I think it’s always fun to watch the growth of other artists and I think with me there are definitely more fine changes to come,” she said. “

When you make an album there are always those little things which you wish you had done differently but we all love the album and I also know a bit more how I want the next one to sound.”

Although the next few weeks mark Ashley’s debut in the UK, she’s no stranger to playing life.

“If I was just started out without spending time and learning from my dad, I don’t think I would be able to do it now.

“I think I’ve seen most things that can go wrong so nothing will surprise me.

“A very important thing about performing is learning how to fail gracefully. Once you’ve done that the fear goes away.

“When you learn how to handle the things that go wrong, you can do the things that go right.”

Ashley is very excited to get out and meet her fans around the country.

“I feel like this is my big introduction to the UK and I’m definitely going to put my best foot forward,” she said.

Ashley Campbell, Deaf Institute, Manchester, Wednesday, March 14. Details from www.axs.com.

Her debut album, The Lonely One is out tomorrow. Album review - page 29