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PCW of Folk London

reviews Through Lonesome Woods by The Askew Sisters

This is the third CD from this young London based duo and they are still getting better. This CD consists of eleven tracks, both songs and instrumentals. Don't be mislead by that low number, seven are over five minutes long and, curiously, Lord Bateman isn't the longest.

The title track is a beautiful song, known only from one source in Hampshire. That is followed by a classic Askew tune set starting with Blue Eyed Stranger, switching to the lovely 17th century dance tune Goddesses then back to the Cotswolds for Mrs Casey.

The sisters are both highly skilled musicians with Hazel on melodeon and Emily on violin giving sensitive but powerful accompaniments that drive the songs along. There is only one song unaccompanied, which is Jack the Jolly Tar which is a little more polite than most versions, as it doesn't end with "fifteen sailors pulling on the string".

Throughout the CD Hazel's voice is a joy to listen to. My favourites have to be the lilting If I Were a Blackbird, the swashbuckling Lord Bateman, and The Bonny Bows of London Town which is an amalgamation of several versions of The Two Sisters and includes the obligatory fiddle built from body parts.