IT WAS family that introduced blues and folk man Asa Broomhall to music.

It was family that helped him launch his career in the industry. Now with a toddler of his own, he's finding the right balance between his love for music and his love for his wife and child.

"Often family is a sacrifice for a lot of musicians and I never wanted it to be like that," he told the Daily.

"I do it in that cottage-industry kind of way so (have) plenty of time with my little guy and my wife.

"It's always a juggling act keeping that balance, you know."

But it's one that has been well worth the effort he's put in during the 15 years he has been writing and performing on stages across the world.

Known for his soaring voice, super-charged guitar rhythms, vamping harmonica and evoking lyrics, Broomhall attributes the beginning of his relationship with blues to his upbringing on the Sunshine Coast. Broomhall grew up on a farm near Cooroy, where he connected with music while listening to his dad play the banjo.

"He always played and performed and stuff like that so ... it just gets into you, I guess," he said.

"We came down here to Kawana in the Trading Post days to buy a $250 electric guitar, and we got it home and plugged it in and my brother started playing and stuff.

"And I said, 'Give me a go', and it was that moment - you know, that light-bulb thing where it's the crappy amp with everything turned up to full. It was the most parent-unfriendly sound I'd ever heard but as soon as I heard that, something lit up and I was like 'Oh, I've got to play this now, too'."

Musical artist Asa BRoomhall is looking forward to his gigs at Woodford.
Musical artist Asa BRoomhall is looking forward to his gigs at Woodford. John McCutcheon

When Broomhill recorded his first album Outside in 2004, it was with the help of his brother in their family home on the Coast.

Now Broomhill is about to release his fifth-independent album The Heat and the Rain, with pre-release copies available for sale at Woodford Folk Festival, where he will be playing three solo shows.

"I first played Woodford in 2002-03 solo," he said. "Since then, I've played band shows. People familiar with my music will appreciate something different."

His life, his bands and his songwriting have evolved over the past 15 years, but Broomhall said music had been the one constant.

"It's a connection," he said. "It's something you love. It's something you can't describe or explain.

"But it's a feeling that we all get, whether I'm up there playing it or whether someone is listening and connecting with it.

"We do a lot of work outside actually recording or performing ... you know, it's 45 minutes of bliss you get from four weeks of work.

"I cherish those moments more and more these days."

 

Asa Broomhall is performing as part of the Blues Roots program at Bluestown on Wednesday, December 28, and Friday, December 30, and Larrikin on Thursday, December 29.

 

Tickets are available at www.woodfordfolkfestival.com