Grace Askew may be a sixth generation Memphian…but, the soulful roots of her hometown aren’t the only undercurrents running within each song….
With sultry, aching resonance to her crooning and a rustic, guttural songwriting approach, Grace’s unique sound brings a breath of fresh air into the stifled Alt-Country/Soul/Pop genre.
Growing up in a family full of artists, designers, and performers, Grace’s intuitive passion for reading and writing was strongly encouraged. However, her interest in music – in combination with writing – would not be enlivened until the age of 13, when Grace began taking guitar lessons and, ultimately, putting words to chords. Seventeen was a huge transition stage for Grace as well. With frequent trips to visit her older sister, who was then living as an actress in New York City, Grace was opened up to a brand new world of culture, style, and, ultimately…music:
**“We were hanging out with one of her friends in his loft in Brooklyn, and one night, after playing a couple of my songs for him, he handed over a CD and said, ‘You’ve GOT to hear her.’ It was Cat Power’s first cover album. And that changed my life.”
Yet another poignant marker of Grace’s musical evolution was when she studied under a jazz/bossa nova guitar teacher throughout high school, and ultimately ended up attending college in New Orleans for over a year. Thus, jazz came to greatly influence Grace’s sound and ultimately became the perfect element to set her off the beaten path and make her stand out from the countless female folkies. Now, at the age of 22, Grace’s technical jazzy/folk tinged style blends itself seamlessly with the Southern grace of her Memphis roots and the pure lyricism of an old-soul.
She currently holds multiple licensing deals for an up-coming TV Pilot entitled “Tamara & the Scene,” and for two up-coming Universal Studios motion pictures.
Her discography now includes both her debut EP, ‘Wasted Lipstick’, and her newly-released sophomore EP, ‘Hawthorne’ (which features Grace with Groundspeak in an all-live, two-day, fourteen-hour session at Ardent Studios with Pete Matthews producing once again). Currently performing in two bands – Groundspeak and Mojo Possum – both in and outside of Memphis, you can always catch Grace performing solo at the Wednesday night “Barstars” at Neil’s on Madison Avenue. Showtime is from 9:30 to midnight.
**Quotes taken from a Michael Donahue interview entitled. “Listen UP: Grace Askew”. Commercial Appeal. 2008.
Keep the Memphis music scene alive and support a Memphis original,
yours truly ; )