GIVEAWAY The Taranaki Daily News has a double pass and Ash Grunwald's album Trouble's Door to give away. To go into the draw, email firstname.lastname@example.org by 4pm on Friday, July 13 with your contact details.
Ash Grunwald is hoping for a successful New Zealand tour so he can come back again - and again, and again.
The Australian musician said he had been wanting to visit here for a long time, and finally got the chance when he performed at this year's Womad festival.
"I absolutely loved it. That festival was a great introduction to New Zealand," he said.
"Hopefully, I play well on this tour and can build something. Then I can come over regularly with my family and get a motorhome and go travelling around and surfing - that'd be great.
"I'll be bringing my board to Taranaki for sure."
His music, which he describes as being fairly "dancy" with a few slow, bluesy tunes thrown in, will liven up the TSB Showplace on August 2.
Grunwald said his sound had changed dramatically since his first album Introducing Ash Grunwald hit the shelves in 2002.
"It started off as delta blues, really, and evolved through so much gigging and festivals to being a foot- stomping party kind of sound."
The father of one said he eventually became a one-man band and tried to make that as huge as possible, before integrating back into the band scene.
"These days I'm sort of blending the old sound I had with electronic elements. It gets a bit dancy.
"The last three or four albums, in terms of the beat, have been going down the hip-hop road with a blues vibe over the top," he said.
He was surprised there weren't more musicians mixing the blues and hip-hop genres.
"R L Burnside had a good album that combined the two. But apart from that, there's not many people doing it, which is funny, because it works really well."
The dreadlocked multi- instrumentalist said blues people weren't often into technology, and this was something that held him back for a long time.
"But I was never into bluesy music because of its antique value, or because I like to drive old cars," he said.
"It doesn't make any difference what techniques and instruments are used to make it, as long as it comes from the heart."
In his list of heroes, Grunwald namechecks the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Tom Waits, while he has also supported big-name acts such as James Brown and Jack Johnson.
Grunwald said that these days, he wasn't influenced by much when writing music and lyrics, as he had a strong sense of self that saw him through.
"But when it comes to beat and production, I seem to be very influenced by what's going on around me."
The 35-year-old's musicianship was recognised when he won the Melbourne Blues Performer of the Year in 2002 and Album of the Year at the Australian Blues Awards in 2005.
zAsh Grunwald with guest Mihirangi, TSB Showplace, August 2.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Do you think state schools should conduct religious instruction for primary-aged children?