Ash Grunwald

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LATEST ALBUM - THE BLUESFEST SESSIONS

Ash Grunwald set the Mojo Stage alight at Bluesfest earlier this year, with a scintillating show featuring the Moog synth wizardry of Ian Peres and tropical ambassador of rhythm ‘n’ groove, Bobby Alu. It also marked Grunwald's 10th appearance at Bluesfest, which cast Ash into Australian Blues folklore and enshrined Australia’s foremost Bluesman as an institution at Australia's most iconic music festival. 

To commemorate this momentous occasion, Grunwald entered Brooklet studios with Ian Peres (Wolfmother, Bernard Fanning), Bobby Alu (Xavier Rudd), and producer Nick DiDia (Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Rage Against The Machine) to record the set the trio smoked at Bluesfest 2023. Entitled The Bluesfest Studio Sessions, the new LP features all your favourites, curated from a career and catalogue spanning 20 years, it’s out now through Delta Groove/MGM. 

"I think it's really good to just do things in the old human way and that side of yourself, that is responding to another human being, playing live, that's the really important thing. And that's the exciting thing about this album. Because it's about a musical synergy, I just feel like this album is about human connection. We should be looking for reasons to come together and cultivate that human connection, so I’m happy to make that contribution to music, to have something out there like that" – Ash Grunwald, The Bluesfest Studio Sessions. 

Ash Grunwald has inspired a generation to hit the road in an old beat-up van to ‘surf by day jam by night’. Throughout his career, he has supported legends James Brown, The Black Keys, Jack Johnson, Xavier Rudd, and Keith Urban, among numerous others, and played sold out festivals across Europe, Japan, and North America. 

With six Australian Top-50 albums to his credit, alongside five ARIA and four AIR Award Nominations, two APRA Awards, and gong for Best International Act at the LA Music Critic Awards in 2014, Grunwald has cemented his status as one of Australia’s best blues musicians. 

Ash rocks the house yet touches the soul, serving a tsunami of dance, beats, roots, bass ‘n’ blues…


INTRODUCING ASH GRUNWALD 

Ash Grunwald released his debut solo record in 2002. Entitled Introducing Ash Grunwald, his debut LP was a stunningly simple affair, consisting of one guitar, one musician, and a stomp box. His second album I Don’t Believe (2004) became the foundation that would define Ash as a soulful bluesman far beyond his years. 

Live At The Corner (2005) secured Grunwald’s standing as a powerful and equally evocative live performer, before his follow-up studio record – Give Signs (2007) – led him to London; headlining shows the legendary Borderline and Shepherds Bush Empire. Over the next decade Ash became a regular feature on the European festival and live music circuit, meanwhile carving a path through Canada, the United States, and Japan. 

In 2008, Ash earned his first APRA Award for the genre-defying LP Fish Out Of Water. Produced by Countbounce (Urthboy, TZU), Fish Out Of Water masterfully mashes blues with electronic beats and cultivated yet another path for the troubadour. Ash’s second APRA Award came in 2012 for the single ‘Longtime’, which featured on the Trouble’s Door LP (2012); but more about this later. 

Throughout the breadth of Ash Grunwald’s career, the bluesman and songsmith has received five ARIA Award nominations, alongside a swath of other gongs that include the MBAS Blues Performer of The Year (2003) and the AIR Best Independent Blues And Roots Album for Hot Mama Vibes (2010). Indeed, the first single to be lifted from Hot Mama Vibes LP (2010), ‘Walking’, is featured in the Hollywood blockbuster ‘Limitless’, starring Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper. 

Trouble’s Door (2012) eulogised the political activist within Ash and marked yet another turning point in his life. This chapter led to the infamous image of Grunwald paddling-out on the methane-bubbling Condamine River in a gas mask. This image went viral and became a centerpiece of the community’s successful campaign to stop frack-raping the region’s pristine environment. 

In collaboration with Scott and Andy from The Living End, Ash then went onto record a cover version of Gnarkle Barkley’s ‘Crazy’, which opened the door to appearances on the Triple M Breakfast Show, in both Melbourne and Sydney, and Sunrise, where the eclectic three-piece performed their gritty version of Barkley’s timeless classic live in Chanel Seven’s Studios. Merely six days later, from dawn-to-dawn and right outta the box, Scott and Andy lay down Ash’s seventh studio album, the aptly named rock monster Gargantua (2013). 

Grunwald’s activism grew throughout 2014, inspired by his wife Danni Carr. Together they created Earth Bottles, which was a company formed to not just promote mindful consumerism but donate generously to not-for-profits as well. These innate yet profound changes within Ash that led to political action were distilled musically within his eighth studio LP Now (2015). Produced by Nick DiDia, featuring Ian Peres (Wolfmother, Xavier Rudd, Bernard Fanning) on keys and Pete Wilkins (Blue King Brown) on drums, the immensity of Now appears clearly drawn from depths of rage. 

For a soul who dreamt of being a scriptwriter, Ash first found humility in school teaching. Yet whether in class or on stage, Ash has carved a unique path. Drawing upon his academic and literary roots, Ash released his first literary endeavour in 2019, Surf By Day, Jam By Night. Published by Pantera Press, the book embarks upon a journey to the depths of success, spirit, and soul. Featuring Kelly Slater, Stephanie Gilmore, Dave Rastavich, Pete Murray, Jack Johnson, among various eclectic others, the book Surf By Day, Jam By Night has sold over 10,000 copies in Australia alone. 

To coincide with the release of Surf By Day, Jam By Night and explore the sentiment of storytelling even further, Grunwald launched the podcast ‘Soulful Conversations’ in February 2019. A collection of colourful conversations with musicians, surfers, and common folk, Ash’s special guests thus far include John Butler, Missy Higgins, Ziggy Alberts, The Cat Empire, Josh Teskey, Tom Carroll, among various others. 

▪ Stream ‘Soulful Conversations with Ash Grunwald’ here; or wherever you download your favourite Podcasts. 

Grunwald returned to the studio in 2018 to record his ninth studio album Mojo, which was released in 2019 on Mushroom Records. A collaboration and LP with Josh Teskey followed soon after, entitled Push The Blues Away, which is a stripped-back blues and roots record that pays tribute to some of their favourite artists. Push The Blues Away debuted at #8 on the ARIA Albums Chart, followed by a string of sold out shows across the nation. 

In early 2022, Grunwald crafted what is widely regarded as his finest album to date, which is also his eleventh and most personal record yet. Entitled Shout Into The Noise, it was produced by the Grammy-nominated Lachlan Bostock (Mansionair) and four singles, including the timeless classic, ‘I Want You To Know’, ‘Good Thing’, the LP’s title track, ‘Shout Into The Noise’, and ‘Let Me Go’. Of course, Shout Into The Noise came on the back of his critically acclaimed and smash-hit collaboration with Josh Teskey, paradoxically entitled Push The Blues Away (2020). 

This year, Grunwald consecrated his 10th appearance at Bluesfest with a new record in its honour – Bluesfest Studio Sessions. Featuring Ian Peres (Wolfmother, Bernhard Fanning) and the tropical ambassador of rhythm ‘n’ groove, Bobby Alu (Xavier Rudd), and recorded/mixed by Nick DiDia (Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Rage Against The Machine), the new LP is bound to cascade and coalesce throughout the course of 2024. 

Currently working in the studio with acclaimed LA-based producer Justin Stanley (Prince, Paul McCartney, Beck, Eric Clapton, Gary Clarke Jnr. et al.), celebrated Australian Producer Garrett Kato (Budjerah, Ziggy Alberts, Tones & I), and Lachlan Bostock (Mansionair, Shout Into The Noise), Ash has a plethora of projects in the pipeline, beginning with a new National Tour.