FolkWords Reviews

‘Cycle’ from Lady Maisery - a mesh of meticulous vocal arrangements

(August 29, 2016)

Bringing together the combined talents of Hazel Askew, Hannah James and Rowan Rheingans, Lady Maisery have redefined folk from the perspective of intricate harmony singing, effectively melding the elements of tradition with startling originality. And towards the end of October this year, they release ‘Cycle’ an album showcasing interpretations of narratives and perceptive observations.Cycle Lady Maisery 001 Within a mesh of meticulous vocal arrangements, they weave beautiful renditions of mouth music, otherwise known as ‘diddling’ or singing without words, into their dazzling multi-instrumental talents.

From the opening joyousness of ‘Sing For The Morning’ celebrating the return of life after the bleakness of winter, they deliver a delicious take on Richard Fariña,s beautiful poem ‘Quiet Joys Of Brotherhood’, before revealing the powerful truths within Tod Rungren’s hurt-filled ‘Honest Work’. In these three songs, Lady Maisery leads you into the essence of ‘Cycle’ with its ability to both look back and forward at the same time, placing its songs into a context of history and contemporary that’s hard to ignore. The splendour of ‘Cycle’ continues through splendid celebration with ‘Bagpipers/Sheila’s 70’, the impressively poignant ‘Father’s Lullaby’ and my ultimate favourite, ‘Order & Chaos’.

‘Cycle’ is haunting and evocative, enduring and insistent, an album of exquisite quality.

Lady Maisery are Hazel Askew (voice, harp, concertina, ankle bells) Hannah James (voice, accordion, foot percussion) and Rowan Rheingans (voice, viola, fiddle, bansitar, piano) with Dylan Fowler (kantele, tabrwdd). ‘Cycle’ releases on 28 October 2016 on RootBeat Records. Find Lady Maisery here: www.ladymaisery.com

Review: Tim Carroll

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