Wishbone Ash, ultimate road warriors

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If high-octane British prog rockers Wishbone Ash do not play in your neck of the woods, drown your sorrows with 20 eye-opening photos and videos. In the accompanying still a rare 7-inch vinyl maxi-single combines three Wishbone Ash tunes from their career-making first three studio albums for the Netherlands in 1973. “Blind Eye” was unleashed on the quartet’s self-titled 1970 debut, instrumental jazz workout “Vas Dis” opened 1971’s “Pilgrimage,” and “Sometime World” served as the second cut on possibly their best record — 1972’s “Argus.” Clockwise from top left are guitarist Ted Turner, frontman-songwriter-bassist Martin Turner, guitarist and subsequent owner of the band’s trademark Andy Powell, and drummer Steve Upton. Image Credit: 45Cat user Leonard / Universal Music Group

Legendary British prog rockers Wishbone Ash still deliver high-octane twin-lead guitar performances from their vast catalog spanning 2020’s Coat of Arms. Formed in 1969 a scant year after Led Zeppelin, devoted Wishbone Ash disciples emerged from the ashes after hearing their electrifying brew of hard rock, jazz, blues, acoustic folk, and prog rock on college campuses or then-burgeoning FM radio, a free-form format where deejays played any song on an album that struck their fancy. A favorite in Europe almost immediately after dropping their self-titled 1970 debut, it took three years before America caught up with the commotion on the best-selling Wishbone Four record. Surprisingly, the group never chalked up a bona fide hit single.

Lynyrd Skynyrd, Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden, and Judas Priest have all cited the blues rockers as a primary influence. For evidence of Wishbone Ash at their zenith, give a listen to the medieval-inspired “Warrior,” an epic six-minute rocker from the 1972 masterpiece Argus. The band has to its credit 24 original studio recordings, 10 live albums, and four live DVDs including the This Is Wishbone Ash rockumentary.

The band is guided by sole founding member Andy Powell on vocals, who trades fretboard licks with 2017 addition Mark Abrahams. Bassist Bob Skeat, a 21-year veteran of the band and an in-demand studio musician, anchors the rhythm section with Joe Crabtree, one of the best of Britain’s new breed of drummers whose performance credits include Pendragon and David Cross of King Crimson. “The band basically lives together year-round, so we have a very strong level of communication that translates in our performances and recordings,” the owner of the band’s trademark divulged in a press release.

Powell continued, “We hope our long-lost fans will come check out what we’ve been doing, which has been continuously touring, recording, and rehearsing. The band has a fire in its belly, and we want to share that.” Longtime fans and recent converts will find that Wishbone Ash offers an undeniably unforgettable concert experience unimpacted by time’s levy. Complete tour dates and more information can be found by visiting the band’s official website.

© Jeremy Roberts, 2014, 2018. All rights reserved. To touch base, email jeremylr@windstream.net and mention which story led you my way. I appreciate it sincerely.

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Retro pop culture interviews & lovin’ someone fierce sustain this University of Georgia Master of Agricultural Leadership alum. Email: jeremylr@windstream.net

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