Katoomba RSL Club Presents
Ash Grunwald at Katoomba RSL
8:30pm, Fri 17th August, 2012
Katoomba RSL, NSW
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"Ash Grunwald is undoubtedly one of the most riveting and talented performers on the Australian musical landscape." - Andrew Nock musicfeeds.com.au "The fat, urgent rhythms drive Grunwald's smoking, bluesy riffs like an unlicensed teenager in a stolen car." - JMAG When R L Burnside released the album Bothered Mind in 2004, teaming up with hip hop producer Lyrics Born, he showed the world that the blues were not just meant to mutate into ankle-twisting rock n roll. The sound of the twelve-bar blues emerged in Africa, as did the beats that would give rise to hip hop and when Burnside combined the two, hundreds of years from their point of origin, it would be a marriage of fate, a beautiful partnership that simply made sense. In Australia, at precisely the same moment, a gent of much younger persuasion surrounded naturally by the hip-hop of his generation but as deeply embedded in the blues as those far beyond his years, made the very same discovery. What he proved with that parallel step all those years ago, was possession of a foresight generally gifted only to those many decades further along.
Blistering, explosive and unique live sets on the festival circuit throughout Australia, Japan, Canada, America, Europe and the UK, have had critics and fans raving about his unique blend of roots, blues, beats and a whole lotta groove for more than a decade. Ash has been nominated five times for Australia's ARIA Awards, and has won a swag of award including MBAS Blues Performer of the Year 2003 and the AIR Best Independent Blues and Roots Album, and in 2009, taking out a prestigious APRA songwriting award for Blues & Roots Song of the Year.
His album of 2010, Hot Mama Vibes, was nominated for Best Blues & Roots album by both the Australian Record Industry Association and Australian Independent Record Label Association, and after a sold out national Australian tour, he capped off 2010 supporting Jack Johnson's Australian tour. His first single from the album, 'Walking' received significant radio airplay, and was prominently featured in the Hollywood blockbuster, 'Limitless' starring Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper.
In the two years since Hot Mama Vibes, Ash has made an exodus from the cold waters of Victoria to the sunnier shores of Northern NSW, he's taken on NZ for the first time playing at Kaikoura Roots & WOMAD NZ, made his return to WOMADelaide, been on sold out tours in Canada (soon to return) and played a myriad of homeland festivals for good measure.
His greatest achievement though has been the creation of his most internal album to date. Trouble's Door found life in the fiery breath of injustice; the frustration of severe political and environmental mismanagement. 'It's some of my most personal songwriting,' Ash confesses. 'I had just done a benefit gig to stop coal seam gas mining. There were other issues going on at the time, you can take your pick really, and it occurred to me that our system just doesn't work. We are experiencing the result of rampant unchecked capitalism.' The music traverses many a tale as well; the blues propelled by driving dance floor rhythms, buoyed by hip hop beats and slammed by the dubstep crunch. Naturally.
10 years since the release of his first blues record and hundreds of thousands of arses shaken since, Ash welcomes you as always to strive toward life's greatest mission amongst the sadness and the challenges - the presence of good times and the possession of a happy heart.
Opening up the night will 'Best Female Vocalist' finalist for the 2011 Australian Blues Chain Awards - Cass Eager.
Cass Eager's music takes heed of Soul and Blues, solidly dished up with Roots & Rhythm. Her distinctive pipes have drawn comparisons to everyone from Janis Joplin to Bonnie Raitt, but Soul Sister Cass is no pale imitation.
Her voice and music are sometimes funky, at other times soaked with an alt-country twang, and sometimes she rocks it out down and dirty. When you get down to it, the woman is a sworn soul sister through and through.
'One of Sydney's most gifted singer-songwriters, whose refreshingly honest, raspy, almost Joplin-esque like voice is hers alone, and whose song writing will spellbind the listener.' - Drum Media.