Gwyn Ashton

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With one foot rooted in pre-war Delta blues, the other in a hotchpotch of country, swamp, jazz, rock, soul and folk, there are more sides to Gwyn Ashton than meets the eye. Ashton's experiences are amplified by the resonator of his well-beaten, electrified 1936 National guitar, his Weissenborn lap-slide and an array of other acoustic and electric instruments. His use of 21st century technology such as looping guitars, scratches and other percussive noises validates him as a modern-day rogue bluesman.

Ashton collaborates and records with some of the world's most renowned musicians, his songs reflecting a wealth of experience and a lifetime spent paying his dues. In 2010 Italian guitar maker Liutart presented him with his own-design Gwyn Ashton signature model guitar – his perfect electric slide-machine.

As a duo, Ashton is joined by young impassioned percussionist / drummer 'Killer' Kev Hickman, who provides the backbeat, groove and perfect counterpoint to Ashton's guitar skills. Ashton and Hickman crash their way into the alt. music scene and blast down the boundaries between the blues, hip-hop and indie rock with riff-laden, edgy, high-octane songs. Drawing inspiration from the great rock and blues acts from the past, Ashton has developed his own distinctive identity, bringing the blues firmly into the 21st century and carving a notch in a world full of predictable, homogenized music.

Ashton has toured with BB King, Ray Charles, Buddy Guy, Mick Taylor, Rory Gallagher, Peter Green, Junior Wells, Johnny Winter, Canned Heat, Robin Trower, Jeff Healey, The Yardbirds, Status Quo, Magnum and many others. He has also recorded with Kim Wilson (Fabulous Thunderbirds), Robbie Blunt (Robert Plant), Chris Glen/Ted McKenna (SAHB, MSG), Don Airey (Deep Purple, Whitesnake, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne), Gerry McAvoy/Brendan O'Neill (Rory Gallagher). Ashton also replaced Thin Lizzy/Motorhead guitarist Brian Robertson fronting Band Of Friends - a memorial to Rory Gallagher featuring Gerry, Brendan, Lou Martin and Mark Feltham.

Welsh-born Gwyn Ashton migrated to Adelaide, South Australia in the ‘60s, picked up a guitar at 12 and joined his first band at 16. He relocated to Sydney in the ‘80s, playing stints with Swanee and Stevie Wright. In the 90s he moved to Melbourne, where he recorded his first two albums. He then opened for Junior Wells, Rory Gallagher, Steve Morse and Albert Lee and played with Jim Keays and Mick Pealing. In ‘96 Ashton relocated to the UK.

Gwyn Ashton is endorsed by: Fender (Australia), Liutart Guitars (Italy), Vigier Guitars (France), Busker Guitars (UK), Fatboy Guitar Parts, Vintage Guitars, Jacques Stompboxes (France), National Reso-Phonic Guitars, Seymour Duncan Pickups, Hiscox Cases, Koch Guitar Electronics, Graph -Tech Industries, Award-Session and Dunlop Strings.

  • 1993: Feel The Heat - Album of the Month Oct ‘98 Guitar & Bass
  • 1993: Pressure Makes Diamonds - Jim Keays
  • 1994: Real Australian Blues Vol. 2
  • 1996: Beg, Borrow & Steel
  • 1999: Classic Rock 11/12/1999 - Classic Cuts No.7 [Various Artists]
  • 1999: Fang It! - Amazon France Top 100 albums - 2000, Album of the Month - Sept 2000 Guitar
  • 2000: Classic Rock 21/12/2000 - A Right Earful! [Various Artists]
  • 2003: Blues Guitar Heroes [Various Artists] - France
  • 2007: Prohibition Album of the Year 2007 - Guitar & Bass
  • 2007: Resonator - Jim Keays
  • 2007: Classic Rock - Bone Rattlin’ Blues [Various Artists] ROC108/08/07
  • 2007: Classic Rock - Hollywood Rocks [Various Artists]
  • 2007: She’s So Shy - Peter Parker - MD/lead guitar/bass guitar/backing vocals/arranger/producer
  • 2009: Two-Man Blues Army

2014-01-23 Gwyn Ashton

I find it so inspirational and invigorating, albeit temporarily here in California, to be in a society where drummers and bassists know how to play the blues, jazz and swing correctly.

When I was a kid back home in Oztraylya, the great Billy Thorpe told me to go to Austin and check out how they play the blues. I said with wild enthusiasm ‘I’d love to go play there’ and he replied ‘Don’t touch a guitar, just listen, watch and learn’. I felt gutted he said that but I took his advice and how right he was! A couple of visits later and I was sitting in with cats in Austin like Derek O’Brien, Frosty, Chris Duarte, Chris Maresh, Malford Milligan and so on.

That now is the best piece of advice I could hand on to anyone else contemplating a career in this genre. Go hang out in clubs and bars in the USA. Everybody else is just playing a derivative of this music and MOST of them aren’t getting it right. Go to the source and learn. Watching YouTube vids ain’t gonna cut it. You need to BE THERE. Music us a wonderful gift we share but we can’t afford to take shortcuts. We need to learn how to play certain styles correctly to do IT, and the audience, justice.

There is a LOT of bad blues out there - guitarists who can’t play rhythm, drummers who can’t shuffle, sit behind the beat etc. Bassists who have no idea how to walk without sounding white. I’ve seen bands in England who can’t play the blues for shit, SIGNED TO EURO BLUES LABELS. If you keep your ears and eyes open, this could fix all of that.

I’m not running anyone down. Some of these guys just need help and a kick up the arse. You really have no idea how frustrating it is to play with bands who have no idea about grooves. Listen to Chicago, Texas, Louisiana, New Orleans blues and develop your ear so you can identify each style. Get swampy.

I hope this helps someone. Passing on information is what I like to do. See ya in some stinkin’ club somewhere down the road!

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2012-04-18 Gwyn Ashton

Are you offended by what I’ve said below? Must be a guilt complex! These comments are based on local community and I’m standing up for musos who aren’t as fortunate as I am and don’t get to tour, but try to make an honest living out of their profession. Somebody has to raise public-awareness.

Just been offered a gig but “the venue can’t afford to pay the musicians”. This is a hip bar in Worcester and they are used to young singer/songwriters who are prepared to work for free causing it to be virtually impossible to work in Worcester now. It’s time to make a stand. Too many promoters (who get PAID by the venue) putting on ten acts per night, doing 20 minute spots and NOT PAYING ANYONE. Music is my occupation. Try calling 10 plumbers out to fix your major leak and tell THEM they’re doing it “for the exposure” and not getting paid.

This is TOTALLY different to working with and building a venue and getting it on it’s feet so they can afford to pay. GOOD promoters do this and I have friends who are good at it, but I haven’t seen many lately. They just keep doing the same old thing, week after week.

Venues are even starting to have open mic nights on prime gigging nights: Thursday - Saturday just so they can get people playing for fuck-all, to entertain their clientele! They’ve seen how it can work on early week nights and they want to get music FOR FREE and some of you are letting them. Meanwhile some PROFESSIONAL touring act from abroad has to pay for a bunch of hotel rooms and meals and have the night off. Everybody has to start somewhere? Yes. That’s what EARLY WEEK open mics are for. Heard of an apprenticeship?

MUSIC IS AN OCCUPATION. Everybody wants to download music for free so now the only way to make money is by playing live and now you’re making it so you can’t even do a gig and get paid for it. WAKE UP. This is my living. I’ve spent 40 years “paying my dues”. This is a LOT OF PEOPLE’S livings and you’re allowing the whole musician community be exploited. I’m pissed off and if you had any brains you’d be sharing this comment worldwide.

The question is no longer “Do you want to take it up the clacker?”, but now “How far would you like me to shove it up there?”

Comments on 2012-04-18 Gwyn Ashton

Really nice Wikiblog and found something interest…..

SpammingIdiot. 2012-04-23 03:53 UTC.

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