Here is a previously unseen photo from the "Joni's Jazz" concert Central Park Summerstage 1999. What a thrill to share the stage with Joni Mitchell and so many other wonderful artists ( including Chaka Khan, Vernon Reid, Jane Siberry & Duncan Shiek!). I performed 2 Joni songs - "Coyote" with the amazing band and "Down To You" as a duet with Joe Jackson. I also got to sing backup for Chaka Khan and Joni. (click on the image for an enlargement).
23 February 2013
This week I was in a group of singers who got together and tried SHAPE NOTE singing! An American method of learning a melody from the early 1800's, the method has been described thus: "A skilled singer experienced in a shape note tradition has developed a fluent triple mental association, which links a note of the scale, a shape, and a syllable." Hmmm.......but if you can already sight read music it is most baffling and confusing! But we had great fun, it was a challenge and the words are all about religiosity and celebrating death in faith! (click on the image for an enlargement).
Additionally, check out the Upcoming Shows section for two new Forge The Bell shows.
15 February 2013
Here are a couple of pics of Joy at a recent Forge the Bell show in Brooklyn (click on the image for an enlargement).
18 January 2013
There is a great article about Laurie Anderson's movie performance piece "Home Of The Brave" which you can read here. In the article there is a link to a great quality clip from the movie - Joy gets mentioned in the article and seen on keyboards in the movie... check out that awesome 80's hair!
7 January 2013
Click on the image on the left to view the poster for the "Forge The Bell" performance at Shapeshifter Lab on 15 January 2013.
20 December 2012 The Sirens of Brooklyn just recorded 3 songs for the Xmas season.
One of us, Dawn Landes has the wonderful studio Saltlands in Dumbo and so we were able to get a lovely sound.
Here's a small selection: A Roches song, a Bulgarian chant and an old favorite!
To listen please go to: http://www.sirensofbrooklyn.com
19 December 2012
Here's a great new photo of Joy taken by Manish Gosalia
(click on the image to view it larger)
7 December 2012 Just released: 'Home On The Range' - a benefit CD with tracks from Bright Eyes,Yoko Ono, Nellie Mckay, Chrissie Hynde, Nicky Garrat of UK Subs, Justin Sane of Anti-Flag Joy Askew and more! Click here to visit the project's facebook page.
27 November 2012
December is upon us and I'm happy to say that I will be performing 3 separate events this month!
1. The Sirens of Brooklyn (Indie girls choir that I conduct & sing in!)
The 7 Train Sessions, 11th Installment Wednesday, December 5th, 8pm-11pm (performance halfway thru)
Will take place at the home of James Rickman & Natalie Kuhn
2272 23rd Street, Long Island City (take the 7 train!)
2. East African Girls' Leadership Initiative Fundraiser
On Thursday, December 6th, 2012, Mia MacDonald of Brighter Green and Pamela Kraft of Tribal Link will provide an update on the initiative. Singer-songwriter Joy Askew will perform. Grace Silau, mentor for many of the girls, will speak on the project's importance.
3. Live at Rockwood Musichall (Solo with guests) Tuesday December 18th @ 7.30pm
196 Allen St NYC
www.rockwoodmusichall.com for details
I hope to see you there and wishing you a wonderful holiday season!
Blood In My Eyes Concert
Above: Joy with Jamie Lawson & Judie & Bailey Tzuke
The concert of Bob Dylan songs on November 8th at Testbed1 in London was a great success and raised over 10,000 pounds for Columbian children's charity FOCSA. We had many different artists performing 1 Bob Dylan song each and everyone did a great and diverse job!
I also got to sing with Tony O'Malley from the legendary band Kokomo. This definitely was a great moment for me - I was a huge fan when the band was big in the 70's. FINALLY!.... here's a pic of Tony performing "Forever Young" with me on harmonies- it just felt great!
6 November 2012
While America votes I'm out and about in London (having got my vote in early!) and we are gearing up for the concert of Dylan songs on Nov 8th "Blood In My Eyes" that I've been helping organize. We have 14 artists playing and it is a very varied roster! I am performing "The Times They Are A Changin'" on my looping pedal and I can't wait to hear all the other songs.
I brought some good sunny weather with me to London (leaving the storm behind) - here's a pic taken from the South-bank. What a week for NY and the East Coast! I feel strange that I missed it all....a benefit for the Hurricane victims and damage is in the works.
23 October 2012
I was honored to be part of Cynthia King's "Framed" Dance performance on October 6th. I co-composed and recorded a musical piece for the dance "Ghosts" and performed in realtime with the dancers and track. The Dance and music depicts animal ghosts rising from their graves and letting their spirits move freely in longing and love of the life they lost! Here's a pic!
I will be heard on Taintradio!
Brian Cullman hosts his show on October 26th and one of my tracks will be keeping company with some great music! Check out Taintradio here: http://taintradio.org
My London trip is coming up soon. We have many lovely artists booked for the Bob Dylan concert of the photo exhibition "Blood In My Eyes".
I'll be re-connecting with many old friends and colleagues from London days and more and many a Dylan song will be sung! Please see flier here.
It was shot by Nadia Ackerman in the wilds of the Catskill mountains and upstate NY with the help of my friends Peter Calandra and Nadine Thomas. I needed a different persona to be both the giver and receiver of the message in the song, so I chose a FOX in a DRESS! With that adorable look and Nadia's expert eye I think the song truly comes to life.
We had a great trip out into nature as well, with gorgeous views and locations, incredible hospitality from Pete, Nadine and Sparky the dog, lots of vegan food and fun helping Pete make the signpost (which has Runes written on it).
28 September 2012
Rehearsing with my band is such a JOY! Almost a luxury some would say...and we certainly make the most of our time together.
Back in the 80's & 90's when I played with artists embarking on huge world tours ( or even parts of) rehearsals would often be 12 hours a day for many weeks! I think those days are over....but certainly for the Indie artist that I am!! It is a few hours of hitting it hard and organisation over e mail with tracks and ideas on iPhones (which we didn't used to have).
Here's a pic of guitarist Steve Elliott creating in our rehearsal room. Robert Di Pietro and Richard Hammond are the rhythm section - we realised we are surprisingly International: Steve is Canadian, Richard is a Kiwi, Robert is from Long Island and I am a Brit!
We are videoing the show on Sunday Sept. 30th as finally I get to be more front of stage (at Rockwood 2) than stuck in a corner behind the piano with only my head sometimes visible! (Rockwood1).
Other exciting news is that on October 6th some music I co-composed will be part of a special dance performance in NYC by Cynthia King Dance.It is an honor. In rehearsal last week, someone hearing and watching for the first time as this piece unfolded was moved to tears! Powerful stuff from Cynthia! - she has tireless dedication and compassion in her work.
Please click here to see the flier.
And some more exciting updates:
• I'm off to London & France!
• I have been organising a concert in London on Nov 8th of Bob Dylan songs with 15 different artists! This will be part of an event at the close of an exhibition of rare Bob Dylan photographs at Testbed1 - a super gallery! More on this soon.
• And Finally- I have just booked a solo show in Toulouse France! Nov 15th. details to follow
13 May 2012
Joy singing with Nadia Ackerman on a track by their friend Janean Lesyk
10 May 2012 Thanks to all who came out to my last show at Rockwood Musichall. A somewhat historic gig for me as Graham Maby played bass and I think its been over 20 years since we played together. Joe Jackson showed up to cheer his former bandmates on! With Robert DiPietro on Drums and Larry Saltzman on guitar making up the band we were joined by Misty Boyce and Liz Tormes for some harmonies. Fun Gig!
A fabulous review of The Beatles Complete On Ukulele- A project by David Barratt that I'm happy to be a part of- and I get a favorable mention and pic here! There's a few surprise guest appearances as well - read here to find out more!
ALSO- I will be volunteering at this event Sat May 12th in NYC for Animals Asia.
Jill Robinson who runs the organisation that rescues moon bears in China is one of the most inspiring people on the planet!
The event is at Moo Shoes - a cruelty free fantastically hip shoe store - no slouch either!
29 April 2012 On Saturday morning at 10.30 AM I appeared on Jerry Treacy's WFDU-FM "Crash on the Levee", a free-form roots music radio program heard in the NYC area on 89.1 FM, 9A-12 EST, and on-line at: www.wfdu.fm
Singing with me were Misty Boyce and Liz Tormes (the Do Or Die Twins) - fierce Ladies of song themselves! We are excited to be singing a Band/Emmy Lou Harris cover!
Next week it is into rehearsal with my band for my next show on May 2nd at Rockwood Musichall. I am so thrilled to be reuniting on the same stage with bassist Graham Maby (Joe Jackson Band) ...we spent many a night on stage together way back when.
Thanks to Kay Cordtz for a lovely review in the May/June issue of Elmore magazine .... "you notice beautiful and clever touches of instrumentation and turns of phrase..." you can read the whole thing in the press section.
Special shout out to my friend Nadia Ackerman who's gallery show went up last night in NYC at The Cell Theater - you can still go see her wonderful artwork by making an appointment:
Also check out this fab pic by Liz Tormes shot at our fave Bedford Stuyvesant wall and which is also heavily featured in my new long awaited video of "Drunk On You" (which you can see in the video section below!)
7 April 2012 On Friday April 13th I will be joining Liz Tormes on her show at the American Folk Art Museum 2 Lincoln Square, New York, NY 10023 (at Lincoln center)
6pm. It has been inspiring singing with Liz lately and we have a new (as yet unnamed) project in the works that will be debuting on April 16th At the New York Academy of Art's Tribeca Ball. More about this special project to come, but before that show I will be joining Misty Boyce on her show at Rockwood Musichall on April 15th to play a song we penned together.
On Monday April 23rd I will be singing at the Coalition to Ban Horse Drawn Carriages fundraiser here in NYC. please see the flier below. Liz Tormes will be helping me out with the harmonies. This is usually a fun event with exquisite food and this year they have some distinguished speakers and several performers. Please go to their site to find out about this organization and all they are doing (and click here to download the flier).
Wrapping up April will be a radio appearance on WFDU Jerry Treacy's Saturday morning show April 28th at 11am. I will be playing 4 songs live with the help of both Liz and Misty on harmonies and percussion. You can tune in online.
Finally... on May 2nd I will be playing at Rockwood Musichall with my full band. We will play some songs from my last CD "Drunk On You" and some new ones. I am excited to have bassist Graham Maby playing with me in my band for the first time! We played oodles of shows together in the past as he is the famous bass player from the Joe Jackson band and plays on all of his classic hits. It will be a doubly great reunion on May 2nd as guitarist Larry Saltzman joins us also for the show. He played in my band in the late 80's!
20 February 2012 On Monday February 27th I will be performing at "Under The Covers", a new series at The Living Room, NY, hosted by Nancy Magaril and Carol Lipnik. The idea is a good one - local artists play songs of other local artists! Who to choose? I'm spinning with so many options....
10 February 2012 Links to the Irene Trudel show online archive...
My session from Irene Trudel's show is live now on WFMU's social music website, the Free Music Archive! Here are the links to my artist profile as well as the session page.
9 February 2012 Live at Rockwood - the CD release show... The show at Rockwood Musichall stage 1 on Wednesday night was a blast! There were some old friends in the audience including Willie Nile, James Maddock and Nenad Bach. Misty Boyce and Liz Tormes (A.K.A The Do Or Die Twins) joined me on my new song "Mammoth" and the sound, as usual, was stellar!
6 February 2012 Live in studio appearance on Irene Trudel's WFMU show... Here's the link to the show on 6 February.... I dug up some old stories that ran from playing a gig with the Stones to sitting next to Jeff Buckley at Sine and lots of other things in between! I love my band: Robert Di Pietro, Rob Jost & Steve Elliott, now known as "The Unison Brothers."
Hear myself and the fabulous Unison Brothers play a new song "Monique's Window" from the show here.
Who is the link between Peter Gabriel
and Sufjan Stevens?* …or the band Okkervil River and performance artist
Drunk On You...
Joy Askew’s new album “Drunk On You,” begins with the captivating single of the same name -“In another life I thought I was sober, but I, I, I, I was drunk on you”. The music reels with inebriation and swings between conscience and adventure as Askew calmly states the realization of a big truth. The lyrics suggest uncertainty but the featured piano fills and texture of the band possess a feeling that there is so much more to give.
This is followed by the song “AOAO”, which has a held back feeling at first but then suddenly explodes after the 2nd bridge with Steve Elliott’s guitar shining through like glittering stars falling to earth.
Joy brings all of her experience and influences together in the 10 songs on “Drunk On You.” Sometimes they are sensitive and evocative and sometimes they groove their way through catchy sing-along choruses. Leading you through different worlds and ideas, Askew presents songs that musically attract, while being thought - provoking at the same time.
Recorded mostly with her band in NYC, “Drunk On You” was produced by Joy Askew and mixed by Brian McTear (Sharon Van Etten, Joan Osborne) with 2 extra mixes by Leanne Ungar (Leonard Cohen).
Music and More(scrolll down on the page to #14): "Drunk on You is her sixth album and it's a beautiful piece of work, every song is finely crafted and memorable.…"
IT (In Tune) 26 March 2012: "Askew has a voice perfectly suited for melodic indie rock and uses it to full effect on this 10 track release. The pitch perfect title track opens the set…"
No Depression: Joy Askew on 'Drunk On You' and more... a fab interview.
Blurt: "...it ought to come as no surprise that Joy Askew is as assured as she seems on Drunk on You..."
Support Women Artists Sunday: Joy Askew Joy is featured on the website
Examiner.com: Joy Askew returns to songwriting focus on latest album...
TimeOut New York: The versatile, accomplished singer songwriter widely recognised for her work alongside Joe Jackson, Laurie Anderson and Peter Gabriel, Joy Askew celebrates the release of a handsome, revealing new album "Drunk On You".
Daily Freeman (Sound Advice) (Hudson Valley Newspaper): Joy Askew is a musician; she’s also an artist. For the former, she’s played keyboards and sang harmony with some of the biggest stars in music… (click here to read more)
Now I've Heard Everything (Blog): Joy Askew has a brand new album out titled Drunk on You. The record sounds absolutely gorgeous and last week it refused to let me play anything else....(click here for more...)
AMNY (Daily newspaper in NYC): "On her new album "Drunk On You," Askew's tunes are highlighted by a soft piano-infused style that blends elements of pop and folk genres."
When writing about myself I would always start by saying that I was 'originally from the North of England'… in fact that's not true but I grew up there from age 5 in Newcastle, famous for its coals and shipbuilding. The place was grimy, cold and hard but full of character and culture, with many theaters and concert venues and legendary clubs. Newcastle was frequented by the likes of Bob Dylan (Don't Look Back) and Jimi Hendrix (his manager Chas Chandler, bassist for the famed Newcastle Band The Animals was a true Geordie and my father was his headmaster!) I love the English movie Get Carter set in Newcastle and starring a young Michael Caine, it really reflects well a lot of what this once Roman Northern garrison town was about.
There was so much legendary live music when I was a teenager and by the time I was 14 years old I was playing and singing around town in a blues band with my brother Roger.
So I went to jazz college and took up the tenor saxophone along with playing the piano and singing. After a few years playing in London and listening to Sly Stone, Parliament Funkadelic and Quincy Jones, I knew I just wanted to be in America….so I came – because I got the chance!
My chance was to tour the East Coast with Warner Bros. band Eye to Eye as their keyboard player/backing vocalist and after that tour fell apart I joined fellow Brit. Joe Jackson on a world tour for his Night and Day Record. That tour lasted a year and was a real high. We got to play with the Rolling Stones, the Who and the Grateful Dead and visit Australia and Japan. I was truly devoted to being in New York after that experience!
In 1984 I met and toured with performance artist Laurie Anderson playing keyboards and singing. She later went on to make a film and record of that tour called "Home of The Brave" You can find that film on DVD and it is beautifully put together with gorgeous color and innovative techniques for its time. Working with Laurie was an incredibly unique experience. She is an inspired artist, constantly changing and thinking. I played mini-moog bass with my left hand as well as prophet 5 and DX7 synthesizers and dressed up as a ballerina with a concertina. It was a lot of fun and her monologues were very inspirational! Also in the film are legendary guitarist Adrien Belew , drummer David Van Teigham and the Five Blind Boys From Alabama.
In the following years I appeared on some Joe Jackson records (Big World, Blaze of Glory, Laughter & Lust, Live) and started writing my own songs. A highlight during this time was playing with Jack Bruce from the legendary band Cream at Madison Square Garden. I didn't dare tell him that I'd actually been a member of his fan club at age 14!
In 1991 while playing on a Jules Shear record I met Nashville guitar player Steuart Smith who introduced me to singer songwriter Rodney Crowell. I toured with Rodney for 6 months playing keyboards and loving it and learned a lot about songwriting from the experience. On that tour I remember we seemed to keep crossing the Rocky Mountains… every night! Who did the routing? We did some great hikes. Also on the Jules Shear session was bassist Tony Levin who recommended me to Peter Gabriel for his tour of the record US. I was a huge fan of Peter's at this point so it was a great honor to play and sing with him. During the "Secret World" tour we played "Saturday Night Live" here in NYC and you can still catch reruns of that on cable TV from time to time.
Returning to New York after that tour, I settled into my own career as an artist and even though I had written songs for many years previously, this is where I feel I really began to find myself and explore my own expression. Tender City was released on BMG in 1996. This record has performances by Peter Gabriel, Larry Klein, Jerry Marrotta and Shane Fontayne, among others.
Three more self released solo albums followed, then I formed a duo with electronic jazz musician Takuya Nakamura named ECHO and our CD of the same name was released on the New Line Records label in 2002. This was a total departure from my other records as it is an electronic jazz downtempo record with a mixture of jazz standards and originals. The remixes by Rae & Christian and Jay-J played a lot on West Coast radio.
Also during this time I was lucky enough to get a publishing deal with one of my former heroes in music Quincy Jones, who had the graciousness to come to New York's very own Arlene Grocery and hear me play live with my band. This may have been a common sight in LA but quite unusual for NY's Lower East Side!
In 2008 I released "The Pirate Of Eel Pie". This is an album of songs and was recorded and co-produced with legendary drummer Ricky Fataar in San Francisco. We've been friends since the late 80's when we both played on Pheobe Snow's album "Something Real".
I started writing songs for "Drunk On You" the following year. I was staying in a house with a wonderful sounding Steinway. The house was close to Hampstead Heath, my former stomping ground after college and the ideas kept coming! "Drunk On You" was recorded with my band in NYC and was mixed in Fishtown, Philadelphia by Brian McTear. A couple of tracks were also mixed by old friend Leanne Ungar, from Laurie Anderson days.
I have been an activist on behalf of farm animals since 2004. I volunteer to help bring awareness of farm animals in dire factory farms across America and to promote Veganism for ourselves, the animals and the planet. My song Poor Man's greed appears in the film "Peaceable Kingdom – The Journey Home" and several songs on "Drunk On You" reflect this volunteer work.
*In 1993 Joy Askew toured with Peter Gabriel playing keys and singing. A couple of years later, Peter sang on a track of her first CD “Tender City”. Joy sang in the choir featured on Sufjan Stevens’ 2010 release “All Delighted People”.
**Joy Sings Background vocals on Okkervil River’s latest release “I Am Very Far”. In 1984 Joy toured with Laurie Anderson playing keys and singing, then appeared in her movie “Home of the Brave”.
“In another life we were in clover,
In another life you said I was cool,
In another life I thought I was sober
but I was drunk on you.”
from 'Drunk On You'
“Dressed in black, against the night
we’re taking back
Those who we know can be saved,
Oh, oh across the fields and away we go
Breaking the law’s the only way!”
from 'I Broke The Law'
“When I think about the old concert hall
He had been playing there just the night before
He was beautiful with his guitar
Green velvet and fringes”
from 'Walk Under Waterfalls'
Here is some fun footage by Stan Schnier from the taping of the cacophonous Hungry March Band for 'I Broke The Law', recorded at the Galapagos Art Space in Brooklyn, New York.
High Resolution Images:
Click on an image to view it larger or click on the link below the image to download a press resolution version.
Photo credit: "Liz Tormes Photography"
"….she can bring her voice from the soaring arena-filling sound to a quiet more intimate vocal effortlessly. The production on the album is worthy of Peter Gabriel--well engineered. And the writing shines through... beautiful songs, originally told stories, each can take you away in a different direction.”
“I had heard her name as she'd been the touring keyboard player on Peter Gabriel's "Us" tour. After hearing this CD, I now know why it took 2 people to replace her: A French keyboard player and Paula Cole. She's not only a wonderful player and arranger, but a remarkable singer/songwriter.” (from a review of Askew’s 1st CD Tender City).
“An awesome vocalist and songwriter--Joy Askew is totally underexposed.”
“I purchased this record in my quest for most everything Peter Gabriel (he's here on (the track) I'm Still Looking For A Home). As expected, the entire album stands out with spectacular songs from start to finish. Beautiful vocals and fantastic writing. I don't often write reviews or rush to write them after a first listen, but I am doing so now. Thank you, Joy !!!!” (from a review of Askew’s 1st CD Tender City).