Gwyn Ashton (born 1961, Wales) is a Welsh-Australian blues/rock guitarist and singer-songwriter.
Biography[edit | edit source]
The Welsh-born and singer/songwriter/guitarist Gwyn Ashton migrated to Adelaide, South Australia in the 1960s, picked up a guitar at 12 and at 16 started his musical journey, playing bars and festivals across the country.
He relocated to Sydney in 1983, formed his own trio with drummers John Lalor (Heaven, The Beast, Swanee, Cheetah), Richard Harvey (Divinyls, Party Boys) and John Watson (Australian Crawl, James Reyne, Daryl Braithwaite) and played stints with Swanee and Stevie Wright.
In 1991 he moved to Melbourne, recorded his first two albums Feel The Heat (1993) and Beg, Borrow & Steel (1996). During that time he also played with Jim Keays (The Masters Apprentices), Mick Pealing and opened for Junior Wells, Rory Gallagher, Steve Morse and Albert Lee.
In 1996 Ashton relocated to Europe, picking up supports with B.B. King, Johnny Winter, The Yardbirds, Mick Taylor, Peter Green and Status Quo on their 15-date British arena tour in 1999. At this time he was distributed and marketed in France by Virgin records. In 1999 Ashton recorded Fang It! with Rory Gallagher's rhythm section Gerry McAvoy and Brendan O’Neill. Fang It! and Feel The Heat were simultaneously on the Amazon Top 100 charts in France. He then replaced ex Motörhead/Thin Lizzy guitarist Brian Robertson in Band Of Friends, a memorial to Rory Gallagher with Rory's former sidemen Gerry, Brendan, Lou Martin, Mark Feltham and Ted McKenna. In 2001 French fans voted Ashton at number three position in Guitar Part magazine's Guitarist Of The Year poll with Jeff Beck and Gary Moore at first and second positions.
In 2006 Ashton recorded Prohibition (Album Of The Year - Guitar and Bass mag) with Chris Glen (Sensational Alex Harvey Band), Ted McKenna (Sensational Alex Harvey Band, Rory Gallagher, Gary Moore) and Don Airey (Deep Purple, Rainbow, Whitesnake).
With the demise of record labels and distributors in Britain, Ashton formed his own label and stripped the band down to a duo recording and releasing the album Two-Man Blues Army in 2009 with Dave Small on drums and percussion. Small's commitments elsewhere dictated Ashton to recruit drummer "Killer" Kev Hickman. In 2011 they toured for 39 dates with Magnum across Europe, headlined the First Rio Blues Festival in Brazil and are constantly touring Europe.
In August 2012 Ashton announced the release of his new album, "Radiogram". Release date set for 22 October 2012. The rhythm section on Radiogram features Ashton on bass, along with drummer "Killer" Kev Hickman. The diverse guest artist roster includes Don Airey (Deep Purple, Rainbow, Whitesnake, Black Sabbath), Kim Wilson (Fabulous Thunderbirds), Robbie Blunt (Robert Plant, Bronco, Silverhead), Johnny Mastro (LA’s Mama’s Boys), Mark Stanway (Magnum, Phil Lynott), Mo Birch (UB40, Go West, Culture Club) and young up-and-coming guitarist Henry Parker. Radiogram was recorded in England, mixed in LA by Lost Prophets’ producer Justin Hopfer and mastered in Australia by Don Bartley, who was recently commissioned by EMI to re-master the audiophile version of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Over the years Ashton has played onstage with Mick Fleetwood, Hubert Sumlin, Marc Ford, Canned Heat and has opened for Rory Gallagher, Ray Charles, Robin Trower, Vanilla Fudge, Wishbone Ash, Van Morrison, Jeff Healey, Tony Joe White, Johnny Winter, Mick Taylor, Peter Green, John Hammond and Pat Travers.
Discography[edit | edit source]
- Feel the Heat - (1993)
- Beg, Borrow & Steel - (1996)
- Fang it ! - (1999)
- Prohibition - (2006)
- Two-Man Blues Army - (2009)
- Radiogram - (2012)