Lady Maisery: Weave and Spin

I’ve just received a really beautiful album from a brand new folk trio Lady Maisery. It takes something quite unusual for me to feel the need to write a review as soon as I receive the CD, and this is certainly unusual; unusually good. Quite brilliant in fact.

Weave and Spin is the first album from Lady Maisery, who are Hannah James, Hazel Askew and Rowan Rheingans. It’s made up of haunting and captivating tunes, given new life by the harmonies of these three singers.

Lady Maisery are a new group, although the three members each have impeccable and international folk credentials. If I’m any judge they are likely to find themselves getting a lot of attention over the next few months – the quality of singing and musicianship really is that good.

Of particular note is the way they have recaptured the art of ‘diddling’ – singing tunes, rather than words. Its more akin to birdsong than conventional singing. It’s not something you hear these days, mainly because people don’t do it well enough to be able to get away with it, Lady Maisery however,  have really mastered the art.

Actually this is a peculiarly rich album, full of unexpected sounds and with suprising elements of wry humour. Really I suppose this represents what English folk music does best, and that does involve nicking things from other places, so expect some european tunes, and even a Sitar type instrument along with the more traditional English sounds.

My favourites from this outstanding album , besides the diddling – I loved the anti-war ‘Portland town’, and was enthralled by The Changelings’ Lullaby and The Capable Wife, but my favourite of them all was the final track ‘Sleep On Beloved’ which I found myself listening to over and over again – astoundingly beautiful.

Lady Maisery should, if there is any musical justice, have a great year ahead of them.  Weave and Spin is available now.


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