Wishbone Ash rides the wave into 2006
On the heels of a whirlwind year, Wishbone Ash begins 2006 with what has become an annual tradition: a tour of Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and Holland, followed by spring tours of the United Kingdom and the United States.
Amid touring, the band promotes its latest studio recording, “Clan Destiny,” set for a May 16 release on Eagle Records.
Wishbone Ash is the pioneering British twin-lead guitar band that influenced the likes of Thin Lizzy and Iron Maiden, along with a crop of new, young guitar bands.
The band features founding guitarist Andy Powell, whose name is often associated with the Gibson Flying V, which he has popularized over the years. The lineup includes Finnish guitar slinger Muddy Manninen and the longtime rhythm section of bassist Bob Skeat and drummer Ray Weston.
According to Powell, this year revolves around “Clan Destiny.” Recorded in the States at Blue Jay Studios in Carlisle, Mass., the CD’s 11 tracks were recorded in an impressive 22 days. Powell says, “We went in the studio very well prepared. The album has a lot of energy, a lot of creativity.”
The album’s name is a pun that came to Powell while he was doing yard work at his Connecticut home. “We’re like the greatest unknown band, so there’s something clandestine about that,” he explains. “There’s a lot of clandestine stuff going on in the lyrics. The pun comes in because of Wishbone Ash’s extended family of fans, and there are so many former band members; it’s like a clan. We often question the destiny of this clan but it always survives, year after year.”
Formed in October 1969 in London, Wishbone Ash was gigging by 1970. The band garnered notice in the early days for a unique blend of blues, jazz and English folk. But it was the way the guitars played melodic leads together that would become Wishbone Ash’s trademark.
Throughout the years, many notable musicians have contributed their talents to the band, including Asia’s John Wetton, Trevor Bolder from Uriah Heep and Laurie Wisefield, who would later play guitar for Joe Cocker and Tina Turner.
A glossy, four-color booklet commemorating Wishbone Ash’s 35-year history is available on tour and through the band’s official Web site. For more information, visit www.wishboneash.com.