Woven Green is the name Jim and Ashley Cash have given their musical partnership. This pairing goes much deeper than just music, however. The couple met at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, where they were both working toward degrees in Cultural Anthropology. They eventually started their own private music instruction business. Additionally, they spend a lot of time studying yoga, energy healing, shamanism and sound healing.
Woven Green has been a busy act, too, already releasing two EPs, a couple of live albums and four albums fully fan-funded music. Their output has not gone unnoticed either, with honors that include winning first prize in Relix Magazine’s Jam Off Competition for the track “Sixth Sun.” Relix even featured that song on its November 2010 CD sampler.
Ashley Cash sings lead on the track “Breaking Free,” which is a recording that sounds a little like Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer” from 1984. It’s obvious this music has spiritual implications, too. Cash praises a “great spirit” for freeing her at one point. This is not, however, the Holy Spirit, as taught about in Christian circles. Instead, this is likely more inspired by New Age teachings.
Cash also sings about climbing out of a valley and fighting off vultures. Lyrically, it’s like some of David’s Psalms from the Bible. David, too, had many obstacles in his way, which he needed spiritual help to overcome.
Whether you agree with the Cash’s spiritual philosophy or not, it’s difficult to not feel inspired by this overtly positive song. Late in the song, Ashley even sings of how those vultures, her enemies, had been transformed into doves. Doves are an obvious symbol of peace, whether you’re talking about Noah’s ark, or even today’s peaceful anti-war protesters.
Musically, “Breaking Free” features a memorably jangling electric guitar part. It’s not that ringing, jangling Rickenbacker guitar sound so associated with the Byrds, and later with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. Instead, it’s a much subtler six-string sound.
When Ashley gets to the song’s chorus, the track switches from being a thoughtful, meditative piece, to becoming bold and anthemic. The character in this song has clearly found new strength for the fight against life’s more pressing issues.
It’s also worth noting how practical Jim and Ashley Cash make healing sound. This is not like some of the more extreme voodoo-esque elements found in the New Age movement. One could easily apply the words about that ‘great spirit’ to a romantic partner, for instance. Sometimes the spiritual help we need is that loved one standing close by.
Woven Green’s “Breaking Free” is a well-crafted pop song, featuring Ashley Cash’s expressive and communicative singing voice. It’s the sound of someone breaking free from whatever is holding her back. We all have elements in our lives holding us back from what and who we want to be, to greater and lesser degrees, so absolutely everyone can relate to this song. It’s the sort of song that will resonate long after the boys of summer have gone. Don Henley’s song was about a moment in time, whereas Woven Green’s “Breaking Free” has evergreen properties.