Gwyn Ashton

I am lucky. I get to listen to a lot of music, (well not if you ask the missus, as I am sure she thinks some of it is just noise), and you get to recongnise names across the genres. However, you also get to miss a lot of artists and bands (cue hails of derision). Especially if you don’t always read the sleeve notes and liners.

So, I have to be honest, I had never heard of Mr. Ashton. So when I read that he has been toured with, and to quote, “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”. My interest goes up dramatically.

Gwyn Ashton

Then I read that Don Airy has said that Gywn “One of the great unsung heroes” you kind of think cool. Then I am lucky enough to get a copy of his latest album, and it all makes sense, and the praise slots into place.

So, it is obvious I like the album. Now I must be honest I have not heard any of his previous albums, I knew he had played locally, but had not seen him, but the skill and dexterity demonstrated on Radiogram makes hunting down his previous releases a must. Especially if you are a blues rock fan.

Gwyn Ashton

It has that sleazy blues feel to the guitar work, and a phrase I have seen bandied about is “swamp blues”, and whilst I am no officiando of blues I can see why it gets the tag. Well I think I can! The sound is laid back, and heavy weight. And when it is not being swampy, there are moments which seem a little country and western, “Fortunate Kind”, whilst still holding on with the blues feel. Throughout the album the tracks are punctuate with some great guitar solos, and although there is nothing lyrically wrong with the album, you sometimes just want to hear those full bodied solos coming at you through the speakers. Every now and then you feel a nod to other artists, there is a hint of Dan Baird, perhaps a little of the Stones. The album closes with “Bluz For Roy”, the longest track on the album, and also an instrumental. A fitting close to the album.

Radiogram has an old school feel to it, not just in the blues, but simply by the fact it is good solid rock, played by someone who is accomplished, and possibly has nothing but the blues and rock pumping through his veins! For me, I felt the stand out tracks where “Little Girl” and “Comin’ Home”. Having been playing some Joe Bonamassa recently, this fits right up there. This album should hopefully start making his name a more common one.

Track Listing
Little Girl
Don’t Wanna Fall
Let Me In
Fortunate Kind
I Just Wanna Make Love To You
Dog Eat Dog
For Your Love
Comin’ Home
Bluz For Roy


Words by Jon.