GRACE ASKEW with Josh Roberts
A sixth-generation Memphian, Askew has substantially established herself throughout the Southeast, United States, and has organized and promoted her own small tours since her teens. She now continues to serve as her own agent on a grander scale, booking her shows and traveling vigorously throughout the U.S., spanning tours as far West as Santa Fe, New Mexico, as far North as Chicago, IL and as far East as Asheville, NC.
Back home in Memphis, Grace plays a slew of steady gigs with her abundantly talented accompanying 5-piece group, The Black Market Goods, made up of all prominent musical figures in the local scene. National singer-songwriter festivals have also kept her prominently placed in a tight circle of renowned regional writers who have served not only as mentors, but also as staunch patrons of her talent; including Keith Sykes (co-writer of the popular "Volcano" with Jimmy Buffet and "I'm Not Strange, I'm Just Like You" recorded by Jerry Jeff Walker), Grammy Award winning writer Richard Leigh, and Austin, Texas' Larry Joe Taylor, host of the largest privately owned music festival in the South. She has opened for/toured with such prolific singer/songwriters as Sid Selvidge, Rivers Rutherford, Jesse Winchester, Hayes Carll, and James McMurtry.
Grace has released two EP's (Wasted Lipstick, Hawthorne) under renowned produced Pete Matthews, both of which were recorded at Memphis' famed Ardent Studios. Her third and newest release 'Until They Lay Me Down to Rest'' is the first full-length album to be solely produced and written by Askew. The bulk of the album was recorded by Memphis musical veteran Richard Ford, who is also featured on several tracks playing such various instruments as banjo, lap & pedal steel guitars, and a mandolin offshoot- the 'jangletron'. Whether stirred by the moaning of a distant freight train, the barking dog across the street, or the whoosh of a car passing by on a rainy Memphis night, the intimacy and rawness of the recordings takes you right into the room with Grace and gives you a pure, powerful reach into the heart & mind behind each and every composition. A select few tracks were also recorded in nearby Oxford, Mississippi at acclaimed Tweed Studios includes her entire ensemble of accompanists, in addition to the sound engineering of studio proprietor Andrew Ratcliffe.
"If Tom Waits had a singer/writer daughter in Memphis, it would be Askew with her gallery of lost souls on the graveyard shift. Gutsy, bluesy, and a bit boozy, she quietly sings with jagged languor and a skewed spirituality. Discreet percussion, guitar and, on occasion, wistful lap steel notes sagely frame her rough-hewn sophistication."
-Sing Out! Magazine(Bruce Sylvester)
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