Sails Music Series – Taylor Ashton

The City of Hickory’s 2023 Sails Original Music Series continues this week with Canadian pop-folk artist Taylor Ashton. The free concert begins at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 2, at Union Square in downtown Hickory.

Sails Music Coordinator Bob Sinclair describes Ashton as “a handsome Canadian crooner of his own finely crafted Americana roots songs.”

Growing up in Vancouver, British Columbia with his father, Taylor Ashton was always playing with words. His poetic wordplay as a child built his confidence to later become a clever songwriter with confessional and intimate lyrics. Check out this video:

Ashton spent most of late teens and 20s as the frontman of Vancouver-based five-piece Fish & Bird, releasing four albums of heady progressive folk and gracing stages like the Winnipeg Folk fest, the Vancouver Folk Fest, and Glasgow’s Celtic Connections festival. But as a Canadian, he felt somewhat trapped by geographical borders.

Taylor Ashton

He moved to New York City on the heels of a breakup and the end of his band to pursue solo music. He took up busking in subway tunnels to get by, armed with his banjo and a few dozen covers. Today, Ashton’s music is influenced by the ways that pop, traditional folk, and R&B can live together on the clawhammer banjo. He’s released two full-length albums, several EPs and singles, and collaborated with artists like Courtney Hartman and Rachael Price. His new full-length album of original songs, Stranger To The Feeling, will be released this August.

Started in 2012, the City of Hickory’s Sails Original Music Series showcases well-crafted live music by bringing original music artists to The Sails on the Square. Original music is defined as music that is written or composed by the artist who performs it.

The Sails Original Music Series offers excellent musical entertainment from national and international touring acts with the help of numerous sponsors. Thanks to sponsors Atriax, Neill Construction Company, Protection Products, Bob Sinclair Music, Larry’s Music & Sound, Pfahlert Creative Labs, Olde Hickory Brewery, and Crowne Plaza.

In addition to the seating available at Union Square, audience members are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs or blankets. A variety of close-by bars and restaurants offer food and beverages.

ABC permitted businesses within the Hickory Downtown Social District will sell beer and wine in special marked cups that may be consumed on Union Square, sidewalks, and other public areas within the designated boundaries of the social district. No outside alcohol may be brought into the social district. To review additional restrictions and a detailed map of the social district’s coverage area, visit

The event is finished.