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In an English folk scene currently bursting with bold and innovative folk music, vocal trio Lady Maisery shine brightly. With their unique approach to harmony singing, intelligent and thoughtful arrangements of both traditional repertoire and original compositions, Hazel Askew, Hannah James and Rowan Rheingans harness and celebrate their united voice.
Whether unearthing a feminist twist hidden in a traditional tale, delivering a poignant anti-war ballad, or showcasing their immense multi-instrumental talents in original compositions that draw on a myriad of musical influences, Lady Maisery are skilful explorers of the power, beauty and vitality of song. Over the last five years, the trio have toured widely, performing sell-out shows across the UK and Europe.
Underpinning every performance are Lady Maisery’s distinctive harmonies: sometimes lush and rich, sometimes dark and invigorating, they intertwine with assured precision. The trio are also one of the foremost English proponents of mouth music, or “diddling” – once common in England, and still found across parts of southern and northern Europe, this form of singing without words is a perfect showcase for their sheer musicality. Each also an accomplished instrumentalist, many songs are expertly accompanied by a rich tapestry of Rowan’s fiddle, banjo and bansitar, Hazel’s harp and concertina and Hannah’s accordion and foot percussion
Lady Maisery’s members are all highly respected performers in their own right: Hannah James is currently touring her first solo show and plays in folk legend Maddy Prior’s trio 3 For Joy. Rowan Rheingans is half of BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winning duo The Rheingans Sisters and also plays with BBC Folk Singer of the Year Nancy Kerr & The Sweet Visitor Band. Hazel Askew is well known as a musician and singer in award winning duo Askew Sisters, the early music group The Artisans and has also composed for films. All three are also key members of the English/Scottish supergroup Songs of Separation whose debut album and stunning premiere at Celtic Connections festival pushed them straight into the indie album charts top 20.
‘Lady Maisery are women with ideas, purpose and urgency. They’ve packed these into Mayday and created a powerful, enthralling work’ ★★★★★