A Review of the Emily & Hazel Askew EP
"Six By Two"

"Six By Two"
by Emily and Hazel Askew

(WildGoose Studios: WGS329CD)
Copyright: WildGoose Studios 2005.

This review is written by Dai Woosnam, daigress@hotmail.com, 12/05

I had heard tell good things of this very youthful British folk duo. And when I got this EP arrive on my desk courtesy of Doug Bailey and his fine WildGoose Studios label, I thought it politic to check out the sisters' website.


From it I discovered that “Emily and Hazel are a fiddle and melodeon duo playing and singing folk music mainly from the English tradition. Formally in the Hampshire Band "Rubber Chicken", they have been performing together for several years though only for a year with this line up. They were finalists in the New Roots Competition, winning the top prize of Towersey, Sidmouth and Oxford Folk Festivals amongst other gigs”.

Well that tells it like it is. Nicely understated. No hyperbole.

And having heard their 23 minutes of solid work here, I have to say that they play as they write themselves up. That is to say with integrity and with no attempt at the flashy and gimmicky approach. With “Time” very much on their side, they have put down a marker here with this collection of traditional instrumentals and ballads.

One rather senses that God willing, 50 years hence, this little EP will be a collectors' item, and will fetch a fine price. So that might be good reason to buy it. The modest £6 current retail price might be a second.

But the third reason is they really are rather good in their own right.

Emily's fiddle is always authoritative and Hazel's melodeon is not so submissive that it kow-tows: on the contrary each pays its equal rent in every number.

And Hazel handles the couple of traditional ballads with considerable sangfroid. You'd have thought she'd been doing it for years.

Obtainable by mail-order worldwide. Enquire at this website: http://www.wildgoose.co.uk

Or email: doug.bailey@wildgoose.co.uk

Dai Woosnam
Grimsby, England

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