Ash Grunwald plays Kelowna's Minstrel Café

Ash Grunwald plays Kelowna this weekend. - contributed
Ash Grunwald plays Kelowna this weekend.
— image credit: contributed

Classically soulful with impeccable musicianship and a wicked ability to juggle multiple instruments at once during his blues/roots show made Ash Grunwald's name, but don't let the old school feel to his music fool you.

Now eight albums into a career built primarily off solid touring and an ability to work the crowd, the Aussie festival staple can talk for hours about how his iPad helps him work new beats into what's already an amazingly full-sounding one-man show and how writing notes into his phone helps him with his lyrics.

"I really get excited about the gear and I tend to talk about it a lot, so I probably give people the wrong idea of what the music is about," he admitted in interview for his second West Coast Canadian tour.

Stop by the Minstrel Café later this week and it should be obvious the gadgetry is more of a side note. One definitely doesn't consider the feedback loops he's playing around with once he breaks out the junk percussion and transforms himself into a full band, fingers and feet flying at the same time.

Grunwald hasn't played very much in Canada—his first time over for a tour was this time last winter—but his well-documented ability to whip a crowd into a frenzy has won him plenty of attention Down Under where he's played alongside major international acts like Jack Johnson while still managing stops on breakfast shows.

And yet, ask him what he's aiming for and he'll say the music just isn't there quite yet.

"I still don't have it to the level of a top producer. It takes so much work when somebody makes a good beat," he said.

Whether he's mixing in dubstep or sliding around the guitar, the true stand-out in Grunwald's performance is his voice, which sounds as though it could reach across the ocean, continent to continent, it's got such carry.

"I always sang more like a gospel singer because blues singers didn't really sing out," he explained. "And I was into the blues singers who have really big voices."

If all goes well, Grunwald will be playing a major Canadian stop this summer—presumably a mainstay festival, though he was not at liberty to say much more when interviewed.

In the meantime, his really big act will play a fairly small, intimate show at the Minstrel Café this Saturday, Feb. 11 at 8 p.m. Advanced tickets are $15 available by calling (250) 764-2301.


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