Ivy League Records is thrilled to release Push The Blues Away, the new album by local powerhouses Josh Teskey (lead singer, The Teskey Brothers) and Ash Grunwald, out on 180g cream vinyl, CD & all digital services today! Featuring recent singles ‘Hungry Heart’, ‘Thinking ‘Bout Myself’ and ‘Something With Feel’, Push The Blues Away is an album born out of a mutual love for the blues and a genuine appreciation for each other’s talents.
“The idea for this project all began as Ash and I got into the studio here in Warrandyte to work on a couple of things The Teskey Brothers’ were doing for Ash’s latest record. While sitting around in the studio, me with a harmonica in hand, and Ash with his old steel guitar at the ready, we got to jam on a couple of old timey blues tunes. I had a wail on the harmonica and Ash played that old guitar and we had a good old time doing it. We had a good laugh about it and talked about how good it would be to record an album without any complications or expectations, just a full-on back to basics, just a guitar and harmonica bit of fun.
I’ve learnt heaps from this project. Ash has a wealth of knowledge of obscure old blues artists I had never heard before until having the time to work on this project with him. We spent a bunch of time listening to old blues records and getting a feel for some of this stuff. We tried to let that influence what we wrote and what this record became, hope you enjoy it.”
“This album was made how any good blues album should be in my opinion. Spontaneously and instinctively. I was honoured to have The Teskey Brothers appear on my single ‘Ain’t my Problem’. During the shooting of the film clip Josh and I started jamming on the Elmore James Tune, ‘The Sky Is Crying’. The song was on my mind because I was due to play it at Port Fairy Folk festival in honour of my hero, the mind-blowing, soaring powerhouse Chris Wilson, and here I was jamming with this young kindred spirit Josh Teskey, the most exciting voice in blues and soul I’ve heard in ….well… forever. In that moment felt honoured to be reminded of my small place as a thread in the rich tapestry of Australian blues music. Somebody filmed our little jam 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.”
Indeed, 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.
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.
Many years ago, before Ash even had an album out, he’d often play near Warrandyte on a Saturday afternoon. Over the road there were some ten-year old kids busking who would wander in and listen, The Teskey Brothers. It all feels part of a local blues tradition. As Grunwald looked up to Australian blues icons, maybe a bit of Ash’s music rubbed off on the youthful The Teskey Brothers. “The best thing of all is,” says Ash, “there are gonna be a whole lot of young musicians listening to these blues tracks. And so it continues…”
Push The Blues Away
Josh Teskey & Ash Grunwald
Album out now through Ivy League Records
Available to buy/stream 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