A Fish Out of Water no more 

Grunwald grows from blues base, entrenches himself in upbeat rock and electronic influences


Who: Ash Grunwald

When: Saturday, Sept. 5, 9:30 p.m.

Where: GLC

Cost: $15 advance, $20 at the door

This weekend, the walls of the GLC will be shaking with the ever-present bass and reverb that follows bluesman Ash Grunwald from gig to gig. But this certainly isn't the musician's first stop in Whistler.

"I just want to keep in peoples' minds and hopefully build something up pretty strong in Canada in a couple of years," he said during a recent telephone interview.

Grunwald is currently on yet another West Coast tour of Canada and was in Banff on Tuesday morning, getting ready to come back to Whistler for another show after playing here just two weeks ago for Mountain West Music Festival. This was the first time the musician had visited the West Coast of Canada during the summer months.

"It was pretty bizarre to see just how different it is between winter and summer," he said. "...I just came from a month in England and, as much as I love the people, the summer is just so hard to deal with."

His lyrical content and laidback, soulful style clearly seems to resonate well with the West Coast crowd.

"I guess that the themes that are in my music are sort of pretty readily applicable to people in snow towns and whatnot," he mused. "I'll be recording my fifth album soon and it's just funny sometimes I think that every single song in some way is always about questioning life and questioning the nine to five grind and basically just inventing excuses to just have fun and do your thing and live for the now."

"I think people who love living life to the fullest and travel a lot and like to see different things and whatnot can relate to my sort of stuff," he added. "And also, its party music!"

Grunwald first picked up a guitar at the age of 10, and by the age of 13, was a budding bluesman, thanks to the heavy bass influence of his grandfather. Soon, he became obsessed with the 12-bar blues stylings of artists like Buddy Guy, Albert King and Muddy Waters. Then, a few jam sessions with a friend led him to try and combine electronic music with his mainstay blues.

He made his live performance debut while in his 20s and living in Melbourne. It wasn't long before he was performing in duos and doing solo and acoustic shows all over town. He then began expanding to other corners of Australia and eventually put together his first album, Introducing , which featured traditional blues tracks.

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