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Joy Askew


Country of origin:

England

Type of music generally:

mainstream pop

Status:

Most recent release, Drunk on You (2011)

See also:

Joy Askew's site

Bandcamp page

Joy Askew also appears in the bands, Echo and Forge The Bell

Comparisons:

The closest comparison I can think of sound-wise is Shona Laing. She sounds a *lot* like Shona Laing. I like Joy's music a lot better, though. (meth@smoe.org)

Covers/own material:

own (+ co-writers)

General comments:

Far more mainstream pop than I had expected, knowing that she's played on albums by such artists as Laurie Anderson. (Neile)

i don't know much about joy's background, except that she had a few releases in the late '80s doing semi-bland pop. the only one i have is a 12" ep (remember vinyl?) called kyoto to hollywood which is all right. she was also a pretty common touring keyboardist: she joined peter gabriel as keyboardist and backup singer on the so tour and played on laurie anderson's home of the brave. She resurfaced in 1996 with tender city, on the ex-label private music. i'm kinda iffy on that record—she has a powerful voice, but a highly mannered singing and songwriting style. there are some really gorgeous songs on it though. since then, there have been an ep (gorgeous creature) and a pseudo-bootleg soundtrack (when). i've only heard the former which is all right, but have heard good things about the latter. she's much better live than on record. (woj@smoe.org)

I love everything on Gorgeous Creature and adore When. I'm not that crazy about Tender City, but it does have some beautiful songs on it, and it's wonderful to see a musician get stronger and stronger as time goes by. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Comments about live performance:

She's wonderful live. (6/99, meth@smoe.org)

Well, I am very glad that I went to the '97 Lilith Fair because that's where I first heard Joy Askew. Joy looked and sounded great. She played a mix of old and new stuff, mostly new, with old stuff being "Gorgeous Creature," "Big Sky" and "Cool Cool Water". She played mostly guitar, but played piano on "Gorgeous Creatures" and "I'm Still Looking For a Home". I was afraid that the special guests might take away from the show, but they made beautiful harmony additions on "Cool Cool Water" and "...Home".
     I really enjoyed seeing her at Joe's Pub over the summer. It was great to see Joy let loose on the rockier songs, and the Joni Mitchell covers with Joe Jackson on piano were especially beautiful. I thought that style of song really fit Joy well.
     Anyway, great show. Go see her if you can. (09/99, JoAnn Whetsell)

It was my first time seeing/hearing Joy and I enjoyed her very much. Her version of Leonard Cohen's "Bird on a Wire" was devastatingly beautiful. I'd be interested in seeing her play with the piano (versus the acoustic guitar last night), which the guy sitting next to me said is even more impressive. (09/99, bravegirl@earthlink.net)

Recommended first album:

Tender City is the easier to find

Recordings:


Tender City

Release info:

1996—Private Music—0100582135-2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended only for lovers of soft pop. (Neile)

Produced by:

Joy Askew

Comments:

i like it quite a bit. for the most part, it's soft, atmospheric pop, with a few upbeat numbers tossed in for flavor (i.e., don't be put off by the first track, "corrine", which isn't typical of the entire album, though a pretty neat song). for those who think in comparisons: this record could be a mixture of pamela golden and wendy maharry. it's a pretty star-studded album too: aside from the aforementioned peter gabriel vocals, chris cunningham (he's played with katell keineg and is currently in the chanting house—susan mckeown's band), michelle kinney (chanting house cellist), jerry marotta, larry klein (bassist who produces a lot of others), the ubiquitous jane scarpantoni, and larry fast (synergy) all contribute. thumbs up from me. (woj@smoe.org)

This album wasn't a keeper for me. While I liked the pop rock sound of "Corrine" and the rich gospel sound of "Hands Tied Tongue Tied" (someone wondered if I was playing Praise when he heard that song), the rest of the songs were all soft pop, which does nothing for me. (Neile)

This album is another very solid effort that took a while to grow on me and doesn't have any real standout songs, but just a lot of very good ones. It uses some of the same musicians Happy Rhodes does (Jerry Marotta, for example), and in many ways it sounds like a Happy album—not Happy's voice, of course, but the production and feel of the album. (jjhanson@att.net)

I got Tender City and *love* "Searchin' For a Home." (Riphug@aol.com)

Tender City is one of my favorite albums. It reminds me very much of Joni Mitchell and partly of Laurie Anderson. Joy Askew has a great voice and she's very talented. (Dirk.Kastens@rz.uni-osnabrueck.de)

I found this in the sales bin and so I thought I'd give it a try. I haven't listened to it much yet, but so far I wonder how she managed to get so many Ecto-famous people to play on her album and yet make it so uninteresting. Of course I have to listen to it some more, but on first and second hearing I like it mostly in the background. Very soft pop, but not as interesting as Heidi Berry for example. But it might grow on further listening. (Marion)


Gorgeous Creature EP

Release info:

1997—Third Contact

Availability:

By mail order from www.artist-shop.com

Group members:

Joy—vocals, piano, organ, samples, acoustic guitar

Guest artists:

Shawn Pelton—drums, percussion
Winston Roye—bass
Malcolm Gold—bass
Matt Johnson—drums
Dave Richards—acoustic bass
Mark Saunders—electric guitar
Shane Fontayne—electric guitar
Joe Bonadio—percussion
Everett Bradley & Curtis King—background vocals
Kevin Bents—acoustic guitar

Comments

I got Joy's Gorgeous Creature EP and was a bit surprised at how energetic her singing can get...but still liked it. (Riphug@aol.com)

We finally picked up her Gorgeous Creature EP, and it's pretty good, but I liked how the songs worked live better. (meth@smoe.org)


When—A Bootleg

Release info:

1998

Availability:

By mail order from www.artist-shop.com

Group members:

Joy Askew—vocals, guitar, electric guitar

Guest artists:

Mark Wood—guitar
Sterling Campbell
Alex Alexander
Steuart Smith—guitar
Pierce Turner—spoken voice

Comments:

Info about the movie this is from can be found here, and the trailer can be found here.

Oh, this is sooooooo nice! It's labeled as "a collection of original songs + music for the movie When +demos from the lo-fi lounge." There are ten tracks.
     "Berlin 1945" and "Strawberries" are both beautiful slow songs—perfect *soundtrack-type* music. "When" goes from a kind of haunting slow tune to a louder, more energetic musical adventure. And at the end of that song, you hear a repeating noise that sounds rather like a *pop* like we used to hear on the old vinyl records. Rhythmic handclaps performed by Alex Alexander start "The Way Young Lovers Do." The other songs are great, too.... In addition to the wonderful slow stuff, Joy can get rather "wild" sometimes. I can't even begin to describe this stuff, so I won't. I *do* like it better than either of Joy's other two albums (Tender City and Gorgeous Creature EP). Highly, highly, highly recommended!!!! (Riphug@aol.com)


The Pirate of Eel Pie

Release info:

2007—6 11357 62192 5

Availability:

See website or CD Baby

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Joy Askew—pianos, acoustic guitars, electric guitar, bass, keys, wurlitzer, percussion, vocals

Guest artists:

Jimi Zhivago—electric guitar, Hammond organ
Jerry Marotta—drums, percussion
Garrin Benfield—bass, rolling acoustic guitar
Ricky Fataar—drums, percussion, hi-string acoustic
Soozie Tyrell—violins
Paul Nowinsky—bass
Lorenza Ponce—violins
Jane Scarpantoni—cello
James Maddock—noodling acoustic guitar, backing vocals
Steve Elliott, Knox Chandler, Mark Wood, Vinnie Zummo—electric guitars
Cameron Greider—electric guitar
Eric Smith—bass
Scott Petito, Richard Hammond, Dave Dreiwitz—bass

Produced by:

Joy Askew; Ricky Fataar co-producer (2, 4, 6, 8-10)

Comments:

The Pirate of Eel Pie doesn't really break any new ground, but it's a good, strong album (highlights are "Hip These Days" and "Jack Kerouac"), and it's really nice to have new music from Joy again. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Drunk on You

Release info:

2011

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Joy Askew—vocals, keys, guitar, percussion

Guest artists:

Steve Elliott—guitar
Rob Jost—bass
Robert DiPietro—drums
Tony Mason—drums
Ana Milosevljevic—violin, Viper electric violin
James Maddock—guitar, background vocal

Produced by:

Joy Askew

Comments:

I really enjoy this album. It's a stronger set than The Pirate of Eel Pie, which I also like but find uneven. Drunk on You has great pop all the way through with some interesting influences I can't quite finger ("All the Little Birds" has a retro jazz/blues sound, for example). (JoAnn Whetsell)

Further info:

Joy Askew contributed "Lake Calhoun" to the 2004 album Little Noises, poems by Marcia Pelletiere set to music. She and Frank Carillo performed the title track for Rise, a 2011 film commissioned by U.S. Figure Skating to celebrate American figure skating while commemorating the 50th anniversary and legacy of the 1961 U.S. World Team tragedy.

Other tracks not on her own albums include:

  • "Tuzla (Avarice)" with Joe Jackson and Dawn Upshaw on Joe Jackson's album Heaven & Hell (1997)
  • "Here in America" on Refuge: A Benefit for the People of Kosova (1999)
  • "Starlight" on Café del Mar, Vol. 17 (2000)
  • "Up From Dust" with Sarah Fimm, John Andrews, Paul Bushnell, and Josh Freese on Sarah Fimm's album Near Infinite Possibility (2011)


Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2017-10-14 12:42:44.
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