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Wishbone Ash celebrates a half-century of twin-lead guitar power in 2020.
Formed in October 1969 in London, England, Wishbone Ash is one of the most influential guitar bands in the history of rock. Inspired equally by British folk traditions, American jazz and R&B, the group played to public and critical acclaim. Power and melody have made the Ash a hard act to follow, while they are currently being discovered by new generations of loyal rock fans.
Through the years the band has delved into various musical genres, from folk, blues and jazz to pedal-to-themetal rock and electronica. Whatever the style, Wishbone Ash’s signature is the distinctive twin-melodic lead guitar interplay that has influenced such bands as Thin Lizzy, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Iron Maiden and, more recently, Opeth.
True road warriors, each year they log around 30,000 road miles, roughly equivalent to circumnavigating the earth.
Over the summer, the band will be in the studio laying down tracks for a soon-to-be-released album, bringing up the tally to 25 original studio recordings, 11 live albums and five live DVDs along with a DVD rockumentary (“This is Wishbone Ash”). Also available is the fifth Roadworks CD, “Live in Sacramento,” recorded on the 2018 North American tour; and the first official re-releases in decades of “Twin Barrels Burning” from 1982 and “Raw to the Bone” from 1985.
In addition, some older recordings are emerging from the vaults, including Snapper Records’ most recent release, “Live in Glasgow” from 1977. The legendary and eagerly awaited “Live from Rockpalast” TV show recording from 1970s Germany will also soon be available on the label Made in Germany Music. A number of other projects are in the works, making this 50th-anniversary year especially prolific.
In 2015, Powell released his musical memoir, “Eyes Wide Open: True Tales of a Wishbone Ash Warrior,” cowritten with renowned Irish music journalist Colin Harper and available in Kindle and Apple iBook formats.
“It’s quite an undertaking to put 46 years of being a touring musician in this one band into book form,” he says. “I’ve seen a lot of changes in the music business and the world in general, as you can imagine.”
There is no other rock band in history that has done more with the twin guitar concept than Wishbone Ash.