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Ed Askew here shows off his talents in two different contexts. Rose is a double 10” set, with each piece of vinyl containing a different radio session with a different duo partner. One is a WFMU session with Joshua Burkett, the other is a Dandelion Radio session with Steve Gunn, and both are full of deft and delicate folk-tinged musics. On Okraina Records.
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- Rose by Ed Askew (with Steve Gunn / Joshua Burkett)
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Kindly folkie Ed Askew has sort of… done a split with himself. On this 10” for Okarina, a label that grows records out of the greenhouse, he offers two separate live radio sessions shared between contemporaries Joshua Burkett and Steve Gunn, prominent names you may well recognise in that professional world of songwriting.
They’re pretty old numbers, all things considered: the harmonica-heavy set from Askew and Burkett dates back to 2007, and offers a sweet snapshot of the two artists playing to each-other’s strengths. The picking is as gorgeous as you’d expect it to be with Burkett in the room, creating a fullness from what sounds like a fragile old instrument. Askew’s warbling voice trips vulnerably over the guitar, tracing the melodies with a lullabying quality.
It’s much the same set-up for Askew and Gunn, with another tiple falling into another collaborator’s hands, three years later. The same stark feel comes through, though Gunn’s playing is often jauntier and more playful, with “For the World” and “Little Eyes” offering strummer’s anthems. “Moon In The Mind” is, for my money, the record’s prettiest tune, with Gunn keeping the strums smooth and even as Askew absent-mindedly calms the world to his words.
I think the three of them should know: this is all very sweet indeed.
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