Alan Creamer of Unicorn
reviews All in a Garden Green by The Askew SistersTwo young women with a big future, already appearing at major festivals in their late teens/early twenties - it's heartening to hear young people really into the tradition. Emily plays fiddle and cello, and Hazel sings and plays melodeon. Excellent, simple but effective orchestration (by the sisters themselves) and lovely clean sound from Doug Bailey at WiIdGoose Studios combine on this album.
The sisters play and sing some well-known favourites, including 'Adieu to Old England' and 'The Banks of the Sweet Primroses' - but always with a freshness which rejuvenates them. Three instrumental tracks balance the songs, including the title track, from Playford's 1651 Collection, paired with 'Horse's Bransle', and a 14 part (!) pipe tune 'Dorrington Lads' is given an airing. 'A Noble Riddle Wisely Expounded' wins the prize for best title, and at over seven minutes is also the longest track - but it's sung and played with passion, and has to be my favourite song. Best instrumental track -'The Unfortunate Tailor/The Shaalds of Foula'.
Throughout, there are some really good, inventive tune variations and double stopping by Emily on the fiddle, balanced by Hazel's clear voice, and good use of the left hand on melodeon. Thirteen tracks, (plus bonus track 'Lullaby') and over an hour in length is top value.