Two local powerhouses Josh Teskey (lead singer, The Teskey Brothers) and Ash Grunwald have teamed up for Push The Blues Away – an album born out of a mutual love for the blues and a genuine appreciation for each other’s talents.
The album will be released through Ivy League Records on Friday 13 November on 180g, cream-coloured vinyl, CD digipak and all digital services. To celebrate, the first single ‘Thinking ‘Bout Myself’ is out everywhere today, following its debut via an incredible performance on last night’s episode of ABC’S The Sound.
Watch Josh Teskey & Ash Grunwald’s Performance of ‘Thinking ‘Bout Myself’ on The Sound
On Push The Blues Away, two of Australia’s most captivating vocalists, Josh Teskey and Ash Grunwald, come together to cast off the weight of expectation and revel in music’s most simple pleasures.
Recorded entirely live and straight to tape, with their only percussion consisting of gospel inspired hand claps and stomps, the pair laid down seven original tunes, some penned by Josh, some by Ash, along with two classic Blues covers, Son House’s ‘Preachin’ Blues’ and the song that kickstarted the whole project, ‘The Sky Is Crying.’
To help them achieve this vision, they enlisted the help of Josh’s brother, Teskey Brothers’ guitarist, vocalist and Grammy-nominated engineer, Sam Teskey on production duty. Being a mastermind of analogue recording techniques, Sam knew how to capture a vibe above all else and for five days the three of them holed up at The Teskeys’ studio in Warrandyte in regional Victoria writing and recording what would become Push The Blues Away.
Like many great musical ideas, the impetus to make a blues record together came from an impromptu jam. In the downtime between takes filming a video clip for Ash Grunwald’s song ‘Ain’t My Problem’, a track which featured the Teskey Brothers, Josh and Ash found themselves riffing on an old Elmore James tune, ‘The Sky Is Crying’. “Somebody filmed our little jam,” Grunwald says, “and it became the seed of a great idea: Why don’t we do an acoustic blues album? No bells and whistles, something from the heart.”
The album’s eight tracks reap the rewards of this unpretentious, no-frills approach. By keeping things simple and prioritising the humanity of each performance, on Push The Blues Away Josh and Ash have tapped into the heart of the blues, a music that demands authenticity from anyone who wants to convincingly play the style. It’s something they’ve captured so well, you’d be forgiven for thinking the Grunwald penned ‘It Rained’ was an old blues standard. As Ash explains, “This album was made how any good blues album should be in my opinion. Spontaneously and instinctively.”
Both artists have had an extremely busy 12 months; renowned as one of Australia’s finest live performers, Ash Grunwald released his critically acclaimed new album MOJO along with his first book, “Surf By Day, Jam By Night” whilst The Teskey Brothers followed up their ARIA Award-winning and Grammy nominated second album Run Home Slow with the 2020 release of Live At Forum, earning them their first ARIA chart #1.
Push The Blues Away
Josh Teskey & Ash Grunwald
Album out Friday 13 November through Ivy League Records
Available to pre-order here
Push The Blues Away tracklist:
1. Low Down Dog
2. Hungry Heart
3. Thinking ‘Bout Myself
4. Push The Blues Away
5. It Rained
6. Something With Feel
7. Preachin’ Blues
8. The Sky Is Crying