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Progressive Rock Interviews

Wishbone Ash

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with Andy Powell of Wishbone Ash from 2017
It's been about three years since we last interviewed you. Can you catch the readers up on what's been going on in your world?

Sure. Well, we finished up all our winter touring program, playing many European countries, with a great performance at the HRH Prog  festival in Wales. Right now, we are convening for the summer, recharging the batteries and regrouping. Personally, I've been doing a lot of acoustic work around my area at open mic nights and house parties - something completely different for me. I've also been working with Snapper Music in the UK on the much anticipated 32 CD box set Wishbone Ash - The Vintage Years. That's been ongoing all year actually.

Joe is in LA working hard on his iPhone app: Polynome, which is steadily gaining favor with many of the world's top drummers as the new go-to tool in the world of rhythm. Bob is newly engaged to be married to the delightful Lorna and working to wrap up a project involving his property holdings. Muddy is working on a solo project.

What's ahead for you?

We are greatly looking forward to playing SwedenRock in early June with some of our favorite bands from Kings X, Ian Hunter to the Scorpions and Aerosmith. In addition,  we are in the planning stages for a fresh round of tours -  the USA for September and the UK in October and November. After that, we'll go to Germany, Poland and so on. I've been offered a great opportunity to do my own solo album, so I'll be pulling together some of my personal ideas for that. Then of course, it will be great to also approach a brand new Wishbone Ash studio album. You can see that there is no shortage of creativity going on in the Ash camp. The problem is mainly how to fit it all in.


What was the last CD you bought and/or what have you been listening to lately?

I like a lot of acoustic-based singer song writers, so the last CD I bought was by Brooklyn based Jean Rohe, after seeing her in concert at the Rockwood Music Hall. My favorite artist, though, currently is Blake Mills, who's known a lot in production circles for his work with Billy Gibbons and Lucius, people like that. Currently up on my stereo, is Aoife O'Donovan, but I'm also constantly referencing back to the catalogs of all the great artists I've enjoyed through the years. Currently, it's Dylan, and I'm still constantly amazed at the record making skills of  J.J. Cale. I like his "less is more" approach. I recently reacquainted myself with David Lindley in concert down in D.C.  and bought a great live double album there of him and Ry Cooder, which I have on in the car all the time.

MSJ: Have you read any good books lately?
Yes, I'm currently into Winter Is Coming by the great chess champion and human rights activist,  Gary Kasparov. It's filling in a lot of info for me about the exploits of Vladimir Putin, after he assumed power all those years ago, and of course it's extremely relevant to what's going on now in our country. Scary and fascinating at the same time - a study in seizing, manipulating and managing power.

What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?

That would be Richard Thompson playing solo at the Tarrytown Theater. It was an excellent evening. However, in the summer months I'll be seeing such acts as diverse as Rammstein, Paul McCartney, and next week I'll be enjoying the Zombies and then Robben Ford.

MSJ: Do you remember your first concert?

Not exactly because we didn't have concerts at that time, just gigs in trade halls or the back of pubs. It might have been the Small Faces or the Who - or as they were known back then in 1964 The High Numbers. In 1966 or '67 I was fortunate to spend the summer going to several of the new rock festivals in England and I saw the first ever shows played by Cream, Fleetwood Mac, The Nice, Fairport Convention and so on. This pretty much shaped my desire to be making music for the rest of my life.

MSJ: Have you come across any new gear recently that you love?
The Kemper Profiling Amp from Germany is a pretty amazing piece of modern gear that I now use in the recording studio. I'm a huge fan of the guitars by British guitar luthier Jon Case. He's currently making me a new guitar design that I'm very excited about.
MSJ: Are there any closing thoughts you would like to get out there?

I'd just like to thank the Wishbone Ash fan community which continually allows us the luxury to do what we do around the world, making music, releasing CDs and  biographies like my own Eyes Wide Open. It's such a supportive group of folks and it means that we have some sort of security as a creative entity.


MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 3 at
You'll find concert pics of this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
You'll find an audio interview of this artist in the Music Street Journal members area.
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