Ed Askew - Art and Life LPLabel: Tin Angel
Ed Askew is maybe still best known for an album from 1968 – his psych folk masterpiece Ask the Unicorn. The cult following surrounding that ESP-Disk record has grown over the most recent decade with archival releases Little Eyes (DeStijl), Rose (Okraïna), and the astounding 1980’s recordings on Imperfiction and A Child in the Sun (both from Drag City).
Askew’s status as an important gay songwriter is not yet fully recognized. A trailblazer of the LGBT scene, was writing openly gay love songs in the macho folk scene of the late 60’s. Personified by a fully out New Haven hippie hitchhiker in white polyester suit with giant shock of bright curly red hair. An iconic but self-effacing figure who would be important to the current and future generations.
But Askew hadn’t been in a recording studio since recording Ask the Unicorn, the entirety of which was recorded in one take, until the making of Art and Life in 2016.
Jerry David DeCicca produced the first Tin Angel record of new songs by Ed Askew. The bulk of the album – featuring contributions from Ed fans Sharon van Etten, Mary Lattimore and Marc Ribot – was recorded in an art studio in Harlem. That record, For the World, solidified Ed’s trio in New York with Tyler Evans and Jay Pluck with whom he has since toured the east coast with Bill Callahan and played in Europe with Destroyer, Linda Perhacs, and Mike Heron.