New Music from How Askew…
Three original songs, recorded live on the road in Sweden.
Inspired by our life on the road with the dogs and my guitar. Travelling Girl is a rolling, uplifting slice of rootsty americana – featuring pedal steel guitar legend BJ Cole, piano and vocal harmonies from North East songwriter Jen Stevens, and Richy Clarke on bass.
We left Newcastle to travel around Europe, finding cool venues, cafes and vineyards for gigs and writing songs along the way. In Västervik, Sweden, on day 100, as I prepared for a gig in the town, Bev handed me some new lyrics…
100 days from now, where will we be you and I?
1000 miles from here, what will we see you and I?
Over lockdown, I got to record the song and I’m really pleased with how it’s come together. It’s about freedom and adventure, chasing your dreams, and sticking together whatever happens. Some positive optimism – the perfect antidote to the COVID-19 lockdown blues!
Released November 2020, this is the first track from an album-in-progress called ‘Drifter’ – release date uncertain in the current circumstances!
Shop at bandcamp.com or stream and follow on Spotify…
Brass Neck! came out late 2019 – 10 original songs, each arranged in a style loosely inspired by a different era or flavour of the blues from the last century. ‘Brass Neck’ is a reference to both my preferred choice of slide or bottleneck, and our cheerfully cheeky approach to finding gigs on the largely unplanned journey. 🙂
Certain Something – a Delta inspired bottleneck blues song about falling for a long legged girl in the summertime. Fingerpicked on my roundneck Dobro guitar. New Ramblin’ Blues is my updated take on the classic guitar and harmonica folk blues duo – featuring the amazing Lyndon Anderson. 9 Miles To Rosedale has a vintage feel like an early blues combo back in the day – fingerpicked telecaster, Phil Moore on double bass, and Phil Muriel adds a brushed snare groove and harmonies. Too Little, Too Late, Too Bad, featuring Phil Moore’s jazzy piano, is a laid back swinging blues for someone who’s had enough empty promises and wants to make a change. Gary Grainger guests on bass, adding a driving groove to Journeyman, a song about life on the road, singing the blues, words by Bev. Lost brings in Richy Clarke on bass. It’s about feeling lost and numbed in these strange times. All Alone is an angry, angsty breakup song with a soulful blues rock flavour – first recorded a few years back with Gav Warrender on drums.
More slide guitar on Low Down Dirty Crying Shame Blues, with Southern rock influences coming through. Bev wrote Baby Oh Did Ya? about damaging doubts and suspicions in a relationship and What makes it blue? is one perspective on the perennial question: is it blues?
Gigs, concerts, shows: UK & Europe 2021
I’d love to play at your bar, cafe, gallery, venue, vineyard, brewery, festival, secret show, house party, wine or whisky tasting, radio session…Upcoming shows
About How Askew
Taking inspiration from stories of the origins of the blues and travelling musicians playing street corners and store fronts, I’ve been on the move playing and singing for the last two years. There’s echoes of Robert Johnson and Blind Lemon Jefferson, the call and response of work songs and gospel music, the slicker city sounds of Big Bill Broonzy, of ragtime and roots and country music and more. In the UK, I also play with a trio – Phil Muriel on drums and Richy Clarke on bass – and there’s a rockier, sharper edge to the sound, some southern and psychedelic rock, funk, soul and electric blues.
I left Newcastle upon Tyne in April 2019, setting off with my wife Bev to experience van life – on the road travelling, exploring, writing songs and playing music around Europe and the UK. We were 20,000 miles and 20 countries in when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Like everybody else, our plans were turned upside down but I;m happy to say we’re back out the road now and making the most of every moment.
This site has links to my original music and occasional tales from the road in the blog – roughly half about full time van life and half about music, finding gigs and writing and recording songs.
Top campervan and van life posts…