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Mike Greenwood of Taplas

reviews Through Lonesome Woods by The Askew Sisters

SISTERS Emily and Hazel Askew were brought up close to the Cotswold Morris community, whose music, with all its rhythms and modes, is central to everything they do. From the mysteriously modal opening of Saturday Night through to the more direct reading of The Valentine, these melodies weave in and out of the song arrangements and tune sets.

The blend of melodeon and fiddle recalls early Wood and Cutting, displaying that same symbiotic resonance between free reed and bowed string. But, whereas that earlier partnership played largely instrumental pieces, this album bristles with superbly arranged songs, including Child ballads such as Lord Bateman, and old country tales. The strength of Hazelís lead vocal is exemplified on Sweet Lemaney, set against gently plucked strings, while elsewhere Emily adds complementary backing vocals either in unison or harmony. Thoroughly polished and confident.