the men who marched away
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02/06/2011

Weave and Spin - debut album from Lady Maisery


Lady Maisery is a new vocal trio from Hannah James (Kerfuffle, Hannah James and Sam Sweeney, Demon Barbers), Hazel Askew (The Askew Sisters) and Rowan Rheingans (Fidola.) Inspired by folk singing traditions of the UK and northern Europe, Lady Maisery sing songs and ballads both unaccompanied, and with backing from their combined instrumental talents on accordion, harp and fiddle.

Their debut album, Weave and Spin, was recorded one frosty week in February and introduces these three musicians; three voices woven together in a timeless combination, which they push to new levels. It features a captivating collection of songs, carefully chosen and arranged to showcase the vocal quality of the group. Expect spellbinding harmonies on unaccompanied tracks such as the plaintive Kipling/Bellamy classic My Boy Jack, the music-hall charms of Mary Ann, and the beautiful simplicity of three voices on Sleep on Beloved.

Lady Maisery also explore new ground as one of the first UK groups to revive the tradition of diddling or singing tunes, which has nearly died out in England, but is still prevalent in Scandinavia and other parts of Europe. The combined influence of these traditions can be seen in sets such as the toe-tapping European dance tunes Labajalg/Polska, as well as a fun rendition of the classic Primrose and Bluebell Polkas.

All three members are musicians as much as singers, which can be seen not just in their tune singing, but also in their intelligent, striking arrangements on fiddle, harp and accordion. Listen out for their dreamy combination of harp and voice on their version of Mary Ann Haynesís The Colour of Amber, and hear them breathe life into old ballads, such as their ambitious re-working of Willieís Lady. They also explore vocal harmony to spine-tingling effect on their eerie interpretation of Nottamun Town, featuring the haunting accompaniment of the ban-sitar.

Be prepared to be enchanted by rich harmonies and sumptuous clashes as Lady Maisery emerge as one of the most original new groups on the UK folk scene this year.


 

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