Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 01/8/2012
Support Women Artists Sunday: Joy Askew
“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…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…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…In 2008 I released “The Pirate Of Eel Pie”.
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.”
Drunk On You
I Broke The Law