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Ash Grunwald - Lessons In Life

Grunwald on his National steel guitar
Ash Grunwald in the BayFM studios playing live

Byron Bay bluesman Ash Grunwald popped in to the BayFM studio with his National steel guitar to play some tracks off his new album, ‘Bluesfest Studio Sessions’.

It’s his 2023 Bluesfest set which he recorded at Brooklet Studios in Newrybar with Bobby Alu on drums and Ian Peres on Keyboards. They’ll be launching the album at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall on November 18. It’s the first time the New Brighton-based musician has played there since last year’s floods and it will relaunch the venue with a night of foot-stomping guitar plucking rootsy fun.

Acknowledged as one of Australia’s most successful blues musicians, Grunwald spoke with me about playing at Bentley during the Metgasco fiasco, and how sobriety has enhanced his life. Hopping on the wagon in 2019, he set about writing his first book Surf By Day, Jam By Night. In it he interviews multi world champion surfer Stephanie Gilmore who taught him the ‘M’ word.

Grunwald now manifests the power of NOW to live “the good old days” in the present. “You can be logical and open if you have that lightness", he said. "That’s what I strive for”.

Grunwald also spoke about how he keeps his sanity amidst dystopian scenarios by using humour as a tool. He advises folk not to be stuck in negativity but to address the serious change that needs to take place in our society by not taking yourself too seriously. "Hold your opinions lightly and be prepared to do a 180 degree turn around because new facts come to light all the time."

He also spoke about the origins of his famous Dolphin Song in which he sings about being rescued by dolphins during what might or might not have been a potential shark attack.

His attitude to life was really refreshing and his songs were a delight to hear live too.


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