Aaron William Pollock is back with a brand new album Troubadour Blues. Pollock’s fourth Album release features incredible renditions of old classic blues standards – considered to be greats within the community – as well as new songs he’s written throughout the last year.
Troubadour Blues showcases yet again Aaron’s remarkable song writing talent. With lyrical composition showing maturity beyond his years accompanied by jaw dropping guitar skills rivalling that of the greatest blues guitarist society has come to know, Aaron William Pollock sits on a pillar as pride and testament to Melbourne’s incredible music scene.
Recording sessions for the album began in March 2021, after recording one or two acoustic tracks to check and test out some new gear he had procured throughout Melbourne’s latest lockdowns. “I ended up recording all 15 songs that night in my home studio and sat on the project for a few months.” – Aaron William Pollock
For years Aaron William Pollock has been and still to this day remains an inspiration to local performers, setting the standard for the level of determination and dedication one is required to give to their work. The world over has been plagued by harsh lockdowns and depressing local restrictions, and it’s no secret that the entertainment industry has suffered irreparable blows, not just to the industry as a whole but also on an individual level. This pandemic has seen too many musicians give up on their goals and dreams, sadly it seems through financial necessity alone.
“The first few months were interesting. I was due for a long holiday anyway after years of playing shows and not getting a chance to sit back and think about what I wanted to do next! It’s been hard not being able to perform these songs live, because that’s usually how I cut through to audiences the best. It was hard to record during a period of resignation to our situation, and I believe you can hear those emotions throughout the album.” – Aaron William Pollock
Without the platform of live performances – where musicians and performers get to connect their creative passions with the people that enjoy their work – a certain part of motivation and magic is removed from this creative process. So many artists draw inspiration from not only their own live performances but also from the performances of their idols and peers. Lockdowns and the forced closure of live performances have halted creatives in their stride and left only one creative outlet for them to explore; writing and recording. Aaron William Pollock refused to submit his will to these depressing state of affairs and instead poured all of his time and energy into his recorded works.
When asked about the essence or meaning behind Troubadour Blues, Aaron goes on to say “I always loved the idea of seeing myself release a compilation of nearly 100 year old blues songs, the ones that guided me to where I am now, whilst sticking true to the essence of the original songs. I did it once with an album called ‘The Blues Tapes’ (2019), but as I was only 21 when I made that album, the sound expired a little quicker than I imagined. So I decided to go for round two and show people what I’ve got on ‘Troubadour Blues’. Majority of the time I’ve been known for my live sound, so I wanted to capture that on a record as well.”
In 2020 Aaron William Pollock was invited to Memphis, Tennessee by The Blues Foundation to compete in the annual International Blues Challenge. The IBC is judged by blues professionals from across the world who have years of experience in listening to, producing, and creating blues music. Finishing up in the top 3 overall in the soloist category Aaron William Pollock was recognized as one of the greatest international blues performers around the world and perhaps the greatest hailing from Australia.
When asked about his musical influences Aaron explains “I always speak highly of Bob Dylan and Robert Johnson. They have always been the standard of song writing, and guitar playing that I’ve aspired to live up to. If every other musician ceased to exist, I would still have my sound, just from listening to these two guys. Lately though I’ve been digging deep into Brian Eno, big band swing stuff, Claude Debussy and this mysterious old singer Connie Converse. There’s no real theme in what I listen to these days.”
At only 24 years of age Aaron William Pollock has already accomplished so much in his musical career with respect to his live performance accolades and endeavours through his recorded works. With all of the insight into this, it’s hard not to believe that his career path was only ever meant to be writing, recording and performing his musical works.
When asked about what engendered his interest for music Aaron explains “Initially, it was never really following an interest in music per se, but creating. I grew up loving to create. In my mind as a kid I was an actor, a poet, a songwriter, a game creator and a painter. I used to write up my discography when I was 10 years old, listing all of the albums I would release over the next 50 years, the reviews they had, everything. I still use a few of the album titles now that I wrote as a kid.”
He then goes on to say that his choice to undertake the pursuit of a music career happened “When I realised I could actually do it! I learnt the guitar a little older in my life, I was 15 years old when my school teachers used to kick me out of music class – since I was a pain in the ass with no musical ability at all – I picked up a right handed guitar, naturally being left handed, and I couldn’t believe what I had missed out on all of those years.”
For those who don’t understand the highs, lows, the burnouts and exaltation which can arise within an individual committed to a life and career in music, it must be said that the personal rewards and satisfaction through achievement seemingly outweigh those of other industries and career paths.
“I like to feel like what I know is deep inside me is recognised. Most people just want to be recognised, and when you get it, It gives you the incentive to keep going. I miss the fans. I can’t really recognise them as fans, but mainly my friends. I miss my friends. It will be good to get out there again and show them the new tunes, because knowing they’re keeping up with it and following me on my way is very rewarding in itself.” – Aaron William Pollock
Regarding a question on the best advice he had ever received as a musical artist Aaron says “I’ve had a lot of advice from many areas of my career, usually conflicting on who I’m speaking to. It’s hard to figure out who to listen to sometimes because everybody wants something different for you, so most times I avoid it. The greatest bit of advice I can think of is Charles Bukowski’s ‘So You Want To Be A Writer’ – ‘If it doesn’t come bursting out of you, in spite of everything, don’t do it’, writers need to read this.”
Aaron William Pollock puts so much time and effort into his career in music, that surely he must have other hobbies or pastimes to entertain his interest when he’s not working on music. However when questioned as to where these other hobbies and interests lie Aaron explained “I don’t really do anything man. Hahaha. Music occupies 99% of my time, 99% of the week. If I’m not writing or recording, I’m promoting, or making album covers, or mixing and fixing stuff. I’d be a very lost man without it.”
“Troubadour Blues is closing the chapter to my life that has been very ‘blues-centric’. I love the blues, and It will never die inside me, but this is the last acoustic blues record I’ll be handing out for a while. The plan is to start moving a bit more freely, in what I want to write and who I want to be. This album means a lot to me. It’s the only one I can listen to without shuddering a little bit at the mixes as well.” – Aaron William Pollock
Aaron then explained in confidence that he had a full band album that he’s been sitting on, just waiting for the right time to release it to his eager listeners.
“I’ve got my hands on a lot of projects right now. There’s hundreds of songs looking for a home, from country albums to ambient music I’ve been putting together. 2022 is going to be a BIG year in terms of releases. Country album is coming out next though. I spent a good portion of lockdown organising all of my original songs. 545 fully written songs I found. There’s also at least another 500+ unfinished tunes that were never followed up. My goal is to release every single one of those songs, no matter where they are, or where they go. So keep watching where this is going! The best songs I have written haven’t made the shelf yet.” – Aaron WIlliam Pollock
Troubadour Blues was released to all major streaming platforms on September 7th 2021.