30.3 C
Byron Shire
November 27, 2022

Interview with Ash Grunwald

Latest News

A treasured community asset

The Bowlo, a treasured community asset in Bangalow very popular with young families, is now destined to be part...

Other News

Roots, reggae and hip hop

Since topping the charts on Triple J’s Unearthed for the seventh time, The Lyrical has become the rising star of...

Ballina council staff call for waste reduction project funding

Ballina Shire Council staff have drafted a new policy allowing for the funding of new projects tackling waste reduction in the shire.

Linda Reynolds – it is time to resign

There ought to be a second loser from the whole Bruce Lehrmann aborted trial fiasco – Western Australian Liberal Senator, Linda Reynolds. 

The need to elaborate

While we certainly share the concerns of Christopher Wright (Echo 9 Nov, 2022), as long time anti-war, peace activists,...

Inaugural Kingscliff Public School Art Show success

A great night was had by all at the inaugural art show for Kingscliff Primary last Friday. All the students submitted work to the exhibition alongside art by local Bundjalung artist Steven Bekue.

Appeal to locate man missing from Lismore area

Police are appealing for public assistance to locate a man missing from the Lismore area.

Ash is excited by the best blues line-up in Australia.

Currently touring his latest release Shout Into the Noise, Ash Grunwald is a Bluesfest veteran with about ten appearances under his belt. His most recent show was earlier this year where he not only appeared solo, but he was part of some awesome collaborations – yet another great thing about Bluesfest.

Seven caught up with Grunwald poolside at his home in New Brighton to ask him what he loves about Bluesfest?

Quite clearly it’s the lineup. I mean, it’s always been the best blues lineup of any festival in Australia. There are so many legends. You know, from BB King to Bob Dylan – Buddy Guy has been a regular and Ben Harper has always been huge. Jack Johnson – many times – and so many others. I remember getting a few healings from the Blind Boys of Alabama back in the day. It’s created a lot of memories for me as a punter. In a way, it’s the only festival that I’ve actually spent much time at over the years. Generally I play my gigs and I see a few things and then I’m out of there. As a performer it can be draining to spend a lot of time on site because of adrenaline – you just want to do the best job you can do on your gig, but I’ve always made an effort to stick around [at Bluesfest] because it’s so amazing.

I am also looking at the 2023 lineup – it’s huge. The thing I love about it is there’s a lot of hardcore blues acts. Obviously, I’m looking forward to seeing Buddy Guy and Bonnie Raitt, two huge favourites of mine. I’d love to see Kingfish again (Christone Ingram), and Beth Hart. And, I’m really excited about Marcus King. (See the interview in Seven, 26 October.)

You tour a lot – did you find it hard (post COVID) to get up-and-running and back into touring mode after not being able to? 

It’s really hard to answer that because that was my whole agenda. I was actually getting eight gigs a week because I was doing doubles, and then we got shut down for that second six months. I just got out there every time I could.

It’s always been my agenda to be on the front foot and do the best I can to get it happening. But having said that, yeah, of course it’s been difficult. The difficulty has been planning your actual career, your wider career life. You can’t time the release of an album because then the tour gets shifted. And so then that stuffs up the release. Things like that have really affected me. I think that’s affected a lot of people. It affects planning and momentum.

You live locally, is it nice to play such a big show on home turf?

Yeah, it’s cool. It’s cool that your friends come along and see you play around the corner and then they see you playing to 10,000 people. It’s pretty cool. It feels like a bit of a home turf thing, but, in the same token, Bluesfest always feels special as a musician when you’re playing it, so you don’t ever take one set at Bluesfest for granted.

Who will you have on stage with you next Easter? 

I’m doing the three piece. I’ve been touring solo and I will be doing solo next year as well – the only exception to that is the Bluesfest gig, which is going to be the lineup with Ian Peres (Wolfmother) on keyboards – he has played with me a lot over the years and played with the who’s who now; he’s played with everybody. And Bobby Alu will be with us too – so that’s gonna be awesome.

See Ash Grunwald at Bluesfest next Easter, and at Bluesfest Melbourne 8 & 9 April, 2023: bluesfest.com.au

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Curious statements on Assange

The couple of letters under the headline of ‘In Defence of Julian Assange’ contained some curious statements in an attempt to justify the unjustifiable.  Marc...

Emergency radio tower

An emergency radio tower is proposed for Teales Lookout, Koonyum Range. It is proposed by the telco authority via Catalyst One Pty Ltd, via Amalgamotion...

Ballina water supply

A recent Echo article regarding Rous County Council’s plans to access Alstonville ground water through bores for its Future Water Project 2060 via an...

For the record

Since early January 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic started, when the world population started to be informed of the new health danger facing everybody,...