As chance should have it I bumped into Hazel Askew (The Askew Sisters, Lady Maisery, The Artisans) very briefly yesterday at Sidmouth Folk Week which led me to find out about her sister’s plans for a new album. The Emily Askew Band finds Emily supported by a band of fantastic cast of musicians: Jamie Roberts (Gilmore & Roberts/Dovetail Trio) on vocals, guitar and fiddle, John Dipper (Dipper Malkin/Methera/EAC) on fiddle and viola d’amore and the fantastic percussionists Simon Whittaker and Louise Duggan.
This new project finds them exploring medieval and renaissance melodies and bringing them into a new contemporary folk style. Emily explains that the gap between the two is not as distant as you may initially think: “I have spent much of my life playing both folk and early music, and to me, the further back you go, the smaller the gap is between folk music and classical/art music. When I play tunes from many hundreds of years ago, I don’t see rigid historical artefacts, but the same kind of catchy tunes, driving rhythms and enchanting modal melodies as I do when I play contemporary folk music.”
As with many such projects in the folk world, sales of albums tend to take place at gigs and on tours after the album release which places the financial burden of releasing such an album on the shoulders of the artist. Thanks to crowdfunding we can help lighten the load on artists. Emily has launched a Kickstarter campaign for this release where you can not just pre-order signed copies of the CD but also receive other fantastic goodies including scores, lessons, house concerts and more.
Get involved here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1015033708/emily-askew-band-debut-album
Here they are performing their first ever gig at Islington Folk Club:
You can also find out more and hear tunes via http://www.emilyaskewband.co.uk/