Ash putting out some hot vibes
BLUES man Ash Grunwald is headed in a new direction and it’s bringing him directly to the Coffs Coast.
The ARIA award-winner is receiving international praise for his new album ‘Hot Mama Vibes’ and now he’s hitting the road to take it to the people – next stop, Coffs Harbour.
Billed as ‘neck-deep in the technological swamp of the 21st-century’, Hot Mama Vibes sees Ash move in a new direction – meshing blues and roots with electronica.
It sounds like something completely left of centre given the stripped back, raw nature of his music to date, but Ash says it’s something he has always wanted to do.
“Mixing electronica with the blues was always a dream of mine,” Ash said.
“On the first album I was really trying to strip it back to raw elements, just be as soulful as possible. I guess every album since then has been a gradual move towards this point.”
Hot Mama Vibes, by his own admission, is unlike anything he’s done before.
“Hot Mama Vibes is pretty musically playful,” he said.
“I jumped around with a lot of different kinds of music and songs, it’s a lot more funky and there are a lot more beats in this album.”
Given he won an ARIA for his last album, Fish Out Of Water, it’s not surprising Ash has a little more confidence to do something outside the box.
“I would have constrained myself; I wouldn’t have felt comfortable (until now),” Ash said.
“This is my fifth album so it was time to just launch in there, do whatever I felt like. I guess confidence is what’s changed. So far, every time I’ve mixed it up audiences have rewarded me and so I’ve got the confidence to put this out there.”
Having always been fascinated with blues and electronica, the sounds on Hot Mama Vibes seemed like the natural progression.
“I’m really excited about it – blues and electronica is not something that’s been done and that’s definitely where I want to be. I want to be an artist doing my own thing and hopefully people dig it.”
No stranger to Coffs Harbour, Ash has not only performed here a number of times but also stops in for pleasure.
“I love Coffs Harbour, I just stopped for a surf there actually,” he said.
“I love the Hoey Moey, too – it’s one of the very few venues that are right on the beach. I can do sound check, go for a surf and then come back for the gig.”
So what can people expect from Ash this time around?
“I’ve never come to Coffs with my four-piece. I’m really liking how it sounds, the show is definitely more party-style and more amplified,” Ash said.
Ash Grunwald’s Hot Mama Vibes Tour hits the Hoey Moey on Wednesday, June 23, from 8pm.
Tickets are available now from the venue, Park Beach Music, Coopers Surf or online at www.offbeatoperations.com.au