Ash Grunwald

Ash Grunwald



One of Australia's finest live performers, multi award winning Ash Grunwald has been deservedly credited with bringing blues and roots to a whole new generation. His latest album, ‘Fish Out Of Water’, is a genre defying record - Grunwald’s career highlight - and had Rolling Stone raving “…a warm, soulful gem of a set... Gospel, funk and hip-hop all make an appearance on Fish Out Of Water, combining the traditional elements Grunwald does so well with a rhythm that takes the classy effort into territory fresh and familiar.”

Grunwald is a soulful bluesman in the most pure sense. As a performer though, he was a late bloomer. Now 31, he was in his early twenties when he made his debut playing live. Living in inner Melbourne and immersing himself in the city’s blues scene, he frequently attended blues jams. Music came to the fore in his life - performing in duos, playing solo and acoustic, and being ignored in the corners of restaurants. “It was great. You’d have hours of playing time each night. It was so good for me as a musician. After a while, I was making a living from it. I just loved it.”

Grunwald cultivated a touring circuit, all within two hours of home, and put together his first album, ‘Introducing’, leaning heavily on traditional blues. As he kept touring, his fan base expanded and the music became progressively more up-tempo. His second album ‘I Don’t Believe’ was his first to feature sampling and live looping. He joined the bill of numerous festivals, and began to embrace the nomadic touring lifestyle - Surfing became a passion, and Music offered the opportunity to tour all of Australia’s major coastal areas.

He released a searing live album ‘Live At The Corner’; “When I play live, it has that four on the floor, modern pulse that we get from electronic dance music,” he says. His next studio album in 2007, ‘Give Signs’, was even more adventurous, and he took his energetic live show to venues such as London’s renowned The Borderline and Shepherds Bush Empire, and shared the bill with the likes of James Brown and Bo Diddley, plus the crème of Australia’s local talents.

Blistering live sets on the festival circuit throughout Australia, Japan, Canada, America, Europe and the UK, including the esteemed Montreux Jazz Festival, have had critics and fans raving about his unique blend of roots, blues, beats and a whole lotta groove. Nominated three times for Australia’s ARIA Awards, and a swag of award wins including MBAS Blues Performer of the Year 2003 and Best Independent Blues and Roots Album at the prestigious AIR Awards, Ash has cemented his place at the forefront of modern Blues.

With ‘Fish out of Water’, Grunwald and producer Countbounce (TZU) have delivered an album of thumping beats and grooves mixed in with blues jams. Although Grunwald had regularly placed beats in his music, it was often simply a mash-up of DIY electronic beats with his blues tracks placed on top. “I wanted to smash the two together really hard, so that you couldn’t tell which side started it first,” Countbounce says. “More of a soul hip-hop approach. The drums would be sampled. And the feel of a hip-hop rhythm section with his guitars on top.”

Grunwald is also delighted with the acoustic tracks on the record. The two attempted to create a vintage sound and have pulled it off spectacularly. “There’s more emphasis on the beats and this album in general pushes further way from the blues,” he says.

The thrilling hybrid of styles captured on the album will delight fans of quality music, and cement Grunwald’s growing status as one of Australia’s most talented and exciting performers, a reputation that’s been building over the past four albums and countless shows on the road, and is now going global.