“Folk that makes you feel stuff” is exactly what Ash & Eric L’Esperance (spouses & band mates) set out to create through their collaborative project, The Promise is Hope. Their music marries two distinctly talented songwriters whose sound draws from the deep and vast well of the roots music tradition. Ashley’s airy and intoxicating tone (think Alison Krauss) blends beautifully with Eric’s sweet, deep voice (think Cat Stevens). The two artists complement each other in every respect, as with one voice they take their listeners on an exploration of the deep mysteries within nature and human relationships. With tightly woven harmonies, two acoustic guitars, and intimate songwriting, the pair presents a beautifully moving, inspired & connected live set. PopMatters says, “It is folk music, but folk that doesn’t find any quick or easy comparisons. Instead, it might be said that the L’Esperances have found their unique path within the storied tradition.”
The duo met while playing music at a local faith community in their home-city. They were initially drawn together as friends who shared an appreciation for honest well-crafted lyrics, subtle dynamics, and acoustic guitars. Their natural chemistry was undeniable to both them and others in the room when they first performed a cover of Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” Though the take was completely spontaneous, Eric recalls feeling an energy as their voices blended effortlessly over a finger picked guitar. They both agreed that they had stumbled upon a rare connection, and were eager to begin exploring ways they might work together. It wasn’t quite love at first song, but it wouldn’t be long before Ash and Eric were committed both to a relationship and a musical partnership. They wrote their first album while planning a wedding, and released their debut album, Where We’ve Been & Where We’re Going, in 2015 — six months after they married under the name The Promise is Hope.
In the years following this release, the L’Esperances began touring the Northeast, honing their songs and presentation, building their community, and meeting folks who were excited to call themselves fans and supporters. In this season, they won several local music awards, being recognized for their excellence as artists emerging in the New England scene.