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FEATURES
  GWYN ASHTON
'Fistful Of Blues' EP
(Fabtone Records)


Roger Berzerk Fauske

Roger Berzerk Fauske

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gwyn ashton

I first came across Gwyn Ashton via recommendation from Magnum keyboard player Mark Stanway, a high recommendation indeed and as it turned out, more than justified.

And he wasn't alone recommending him. In 2001 French Guitar Magazine voted him the 3rd best guitarist of the year, behind only Jeff Beck and Gary Moore. In 2007 his album 'Prohibition' was voted album of the year by the British Guitar and Bass magazine.

Gwyn himself hails from Wales and emigrated to Adelaide, Australia at an early age, relocating to Europe in 1996, via Sydney and Melbourne. He has toured with the likes of BB King, Johnny Winter, The Yardbirds, Peter Green, Buddy Guy, Robin Trower and Status Quo.

Article continues below...

   


In 2006 he recorded 'Prohibition' with a star studded band, Ted McKenna on drums, bassist Chris Glen and Don Airey on keyboards. Bands don't get much better than that. Since then he hasn't stopped recording and gigging extensively.

So to 'Fistful Of Blues'. This is his first new material since the acclaimed 'Radiogram' came out last year and short though it may be (it is an EP so not something you can say you weren't expecting!), it is blues to the core.

This isn't your industry standard derivative blues though – Gwyn takes the music, and you, off in different directions, sometimes entirely unexpected and if you like your music to innovate, inspire and enthral, then carry on reading... and if you don't, then it is time to start.

First up is 'Take You Home Tonight'. It takes approximately eight seconds for my feet to start going and before I know what is going on a full on stomp has developed. "My body shaking, it just won't stop", Ashton sings. He ain't kidding. There are little bits of so many different things, a little ZZ Topish in places but that is about the feel, not the style or melody.

Ashton's almost understated slide guitar gives it that extra push, that deeper feel. It's blues alright but no anti depressants needed here. Understated slide that is until he lets rip in the middle – a word of advice, if you have neighbours in the flat downstairs, pay for a night out for them and give your stomping and shaking a free reign.

gwyn ashton

'On The Borderline' calms things down, moody, pensive and upbeat. Contradiction in terms to some blues purists, but Ashton does it supremely well. Thought provoking lyrics, passion, feeling and groove all rolled into one. Beautifully crafted progressions and almost before you realise it, that foot is off again, this time the head and the rest of the body coming out in sympathy. A superb piece of writing and playing – this is obviously someone at the top of their game.

'Waiting For The Day' kicks off with a killer riff, echoing into the background before it comes at you again. This one is a little more straightforward, a bluesy rocker to grab you by the nuts, swing you around and leave you screaming for more. Bass line almost military in precision rumbling in the background, hypnotic, entrancing, driving everything forward. I say straightforward but it seamlessly shifts gear, guitar taking over, Rory no doubt nodding approvingly from his place on high.

So to the last one, 'When You're Alone', possibly the closest to the style a lot of people would associate with mainstream blues. But again Gwyn cannot be accused of lack of originality, the song has elements of styles but is derivative of none. This is unmistakeably him, with more note bends in this song than a mountain road, lyrics both meaningful and passionate, voice tinged with raw emotion, getting you right where it counts.

But the real mark of the talent on show is the music alone spirals its way into your very soul, and that is a talent that is not always present. This is music in its pure linguistic form, yet as an entertainment tool as well.

'When You're Alone' is rich in tempo changes, shifting at ease from slow blues to piercing blues rock guitar, and the fret work is something to marvel at on this one.

gwyn ashton

Musically 'Fistful Of Blues' is a storming update to Gwyn Ashton's catalogue and for those whose first taste of his music is this EP, then I suggest you start doing the lottery as good fortune is definitely on your side.

He is in the very top tier of guitarists of any genre yet one of those who doesn't feel the urge, or need, to prove it at every turn – less can be more on occasion. But even in these four songs, there is everything to keep everyone happy from the widdly widdly addicts to the slide aficionados.

This guy is good. And what's more, his songwriting is up there with the best of them.

The feel of the songs and the production has a live quality to it which makes a change from the far too often over engineered releases these days. But that is indicative of the way Gwyn plies his trade – he is primarily a live performer (it is what musicians do contrary to the opinion of large parts of the modern music business).

Somehow he is not as mainstream as his undoubted talent deserves, but then that is how the industry works these days. I would suggest you go and see him live as soon as you can, you will thank me.

http://www.gwynashton.com/





June
23 - UK, Worcs, Bewdley, Talbot, Gwyn Ashton & Friends 3 - 6pm (solo)
24 - UK, Oxon, Oxford, Jericho Tavern, Famous Monday Blues
28 - UK, Oxon, Cropredy, Red Lion (acoustic)
30 - UK, Worcs, Bewdley, Talbot, Gwyn Ashton & Friends 3 - 6pm (solo)

July
7 - UK, Worcs, Bewdley, Bewdley Gardens 2 - 2.30pm (solo)
7 - UK, Worcs, Bewdley, Talbot, Gwyn Ashton & Friends 3 - 6pm (solo)
10 - UK, Hants, Festival Of Chichester @ Chichester Inn (solo)
11 - UK, Hants, Southsea, Golden Eagle (solo)
12 - UK, Wilts, Swindon, Rolleston (solo)
13 - UK, West Midlands, Stourbridge, Katie Fitzgerald's (trio)
14 - UK, Worcs, Bewdley, Talbot, Gwyn Ashton & Friends 3 - 6pm (solo)
21 - UK, Worcs, Bewdley, Talbot, Gwyn Ashton & Friends 3 - 6pm (solo)
27 - UK, Worcs, Offenham, Offenham Village Hall (solo)
28 - UK, Worcs, Bewdley, Talbot, Gwyn Ashton & Friends 3 - 6pm (solo)



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19.6.13





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linkin park LINKIN PARK ANNOUNCE 2015 NORTH AMERICAN TOUR WITH RISE AGAINST AND OF MICE AND MEN
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skarlett gus tour THE SKYS HEAD UP ANOTHER BATCH OF PROGTASTIC BANDS FOR HRH PROG 3
Another five quaity bands will join headliner Rick Wakeman in next year's prog extravaganza...

ramblin man fair BREAKING NEWS: SCORPIONS, GREGG ALLMAN, CAMEL AND MARILLION ANNOUNCED FOR RAMBLIN' MAN FAIR 2015
The Rock Collective and TeamRock are proud to announce a brand new UK festival...

skarlett gus tour MACHINE HEAD REVEAL SECOND TRAILER FOR THEIR FORTHCOMING ALBUM, 'BLOODSTONE & DIAMONDS'
The album will be released on November 10, 2014 on a variety of formats. "It's been a heck of a ride, but man, this album is a milestone for us..."

skarlett gus tour SKARLETT RIOT CONFIRMED FOR GUS G UK TOUR
Skarlett Riot will open for the four UK dates of the 2015 headlining European tour...

wayne static WAYNE STATIC DIES AT 48
The founder of industrial Metal band Static-X died on November 1st...

emigrate VIDEO FOR NEW SINGLE, 'EAT YOU ALIVE', UNVEILED BY RAMMSTEIN GUITARIST RICHARD KRUSPE'S EMIGRATE
The second Emigrate album 'Silent So Long' is set for release via Spinefarm Records on November 24th...

slash GUITAR LEGEND SLASH AND THE UK'S BEST LIVE BAND BIFFY CLYRO SET TO ROCK GLASGOW AHEAD OF THE 2014 MTV EMA
The rock show will kick off the MTV EMA weekend at The O2 Academy on 7 November...

devil you know DEVIL YOU KNOW PULL OUT OF UK AND EUROPEAN MACHINE HEAD TOUR
"The business side of this industry is very ugly at times and this is one of those unforeseen instances where the band has to suffer..."

cavelera conspiracy CAVALERA CONSPIRACY RELEASE OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO FOR TRACK 'BABYLONIAN PANDEMONIUM'
The video's imagery conveys the raw emotions of Brazil's impoverished people percolating just beneath the surface of the country's natural beauty...

rock goddess ROCK GODDESS CONFIRMED FOR HEADBANGERS OPEN AIR 2015
Rock Goddess join Masterplan, Blitzkrieg, Iron Angel and many others at HOA...

monument MONUMENT RELEASE NEW LYRIC VIDEO
The video for 'Renegades' features artwork by the band's exclusive illustrator Stan W Decker...

dog house WEST LONDON'S NEW ROCK BAR OPENS
The Dog House has opened in Acton, the first new rock bar for many years in the W post code area...

western sand WESTERN SAND ANNOUNCE NEW EP RELEASE, 'CUT YOU DOWN TO SIZE'
The band's second EP is released on Monday 17th November through Believe Digital...

lawnmower deth LAWNMOWER DETH ANNOUNCE CHRISTMAS SHOW
Join Lawnmower Deth at The Underworld on 13th December with Evil Scarecrow, Savage Messiah and Bull Riff Stampede...

giants of rock BLACK STAR RIDERS ADDED TO GIANTS OF ROCK FESTIVAL
The first opportunity to see the band live in the UK in 2015 will be at Giants Of Rock, in a line-up which includes Slade, Magnum and many more...

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