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Wishbone Ash credits Internet for younger fans

of the Oakland Press

Posted: Tuesday, May 3, 2011

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After 42 years of leading Wishbone Ash, guitarist Andy Powell has been pleased to see younger fans turning up at the venerable rock band’s shows in recent years.

“I think the Internet is everything,” says Powell, 61, who’s fronted Wishbone Ash through a variety of lineup changes and now heads up the “official” version of the band while founding bassist Martin Turner leads another version of the group. “The young people, I think they definitely find out through the Internet. They know the bands that get overt publicity, but they also know there’s a whole slew of us somewhere in the roots of the music back there, influencing other people.

“And some big bands like Iron Maiden and Thin Lizzy have given us kudos and stuff in the rock press and the kids see that and look to find out who we are. So it’s nice. We’re getting quite an eclectic crowd these days — even families.”

Powell and company are planning on capitalizing on this audience with new products, including the DVD documentary “This is Wishbone Ash,” which is out now, and a new album, “Searching For Satellites,” which the band hopes to release this year, and even has “a couple of labels at the moment vying to sign us up.” Next year, meanwhile, marks the 40th anniversary of Wishbone Ash’s landmark “Argus” album, whose cover — which bears a striking resemblance to Darth Vader of “Star Wars” five years before that movie came out — also has been responsible for drawing new fans to the band.

“A lot of the artwork that was going on for rock LP sleeves back in the ’60s and early ’70s ... impacted filmmakers and other people,” Powell notes. “Consciously or unconsciously, those images found their way into advertising, movies, artwork design.”

Wishbone Ash performs Tuesday, May 3, at Callahan’s Music Hall, 2105 South Blvd., Auburn Hills. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance, $35 at the door. Call 248-858-9508 or visit www.atcallahans.com.

Web Site: www.atcallahans.com

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