In an English folk scene currently bursting with bold and innovative music, Lady Maisery shine brightly. In 2016 The Guardian described theirs as “some of the most exquisite, thrilling vocal harmony work in the English folk scene”. With their unique approach to harmony singing, intelligent and thoughtful arrangements of both traditional repertoire and original compositions, multi-instrumentalists and singers 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 and have released three critically acclaimed albums.
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.
Since the release of their debut album in 2011, Weave and Spin (named Album of the Week by the Independent newspaper), Lady Maisery have attracted substantial attention, including being nominated for the Horizon Award at the 2012 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and regularly appearing live on national radio. Their second album Mayday (2013), a darker and more politically coloured record, cemented their growing reputation as a truly unique band on the English folk scene, with five star reviews from the likes of The Financial Times newspaper, music critics called it an album full of “ideas, purpose and urgency…powerful, enthralling work” (Songlines). Lady Maisery’s third album Cycle - their most unified, passionate and powerful work yet - was released to critical acclaim in 2016, after three creatively charged years working extensively as a trio, as well as separately on a range of hugely successful projects. One of these was Songs of Separation, the English/Scottish supergroup featuring all members of Lady Maisery whose debut album went straight into the indie album charts top 20 and won them the coverted ‘Best Album’ award at the 2017 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.
In the last few years, Lady Maisery have toured across Europe, visited the USA as an Official Showcase artist at Folk Alliance International and performed a contemporary classical secular requiem composed especially for them by award-winning composer Emily Hall. They have also been 2017’s Artists in Residence at Halsway Manor Centre for Folk Arts.
Lady Maisery’s members are all highly respected performers in their own right: Hannah James is currently touring her first solo show JigDoll and also plays in folk legend Maddy Prior’s trio 3 for Joy; Rowan Rheingans is a respected songwriter and performs with BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winning duo The Rheingans Sisters; and Hazel Askew performs with award winning duo The Askew Sisters and the early music group The Artisans.
Friday 15th November - Friday 6th December
Wednesday 20th May - Sunday 7th June
Also available for one-off, mini-tour and festival bookings throughout the year