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Sweet Bells

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Customer Reviews

A warm fuzzy feeling on a cold winter's night

I saw Kate Rusby perform many of these songs on her winter tour in 2007 and was delighted to find that she was creating an album of them. The songs are Yorkshire versions of famous Christmas carols as sung in the local pubs, although these versions are more sophisticated than those you'd find in your average boozer. Be aware, the tunes are ENTIRELY different to those you're familiar with and, in every single case, vastly better. First and foremost, this is more than a Christmas album. Its warmth and charm will fill you with coziness throughout the long winter months and it deserves to be listened to all year round. However, at Christmas it is sheer genius. If you're fed up with the commercial, brash, modern Christmas then this is the antidote. Buy the album, stick it on your ipod or in the car and feel the yuletide stress ease away. As always, the musicianship is top notch, perfectly framing Rusby's wonderful vocals. The songs range in tempo from the jaunty "Hail Chime On" which contains lines from "Oh come all ye faithfull" and "When Shepherds watch their flocks by night" to the utterly wonderful "A Miner's Dream of Home" with its gentle pace and warm but subtle brass section. My highlights in a flawless album are "Sweet Bells" which will have all but the most unreformed Scrooges singing along (and will remain in your head for days: you have been warned) and "Hark the Herald". Now, for most of us, the title of that track will bring up an immediate melody but, as with all these tracks, forget that. This resembles the traditional version only in the sense that it shares a title and some words. It features gorgeous vocals, a warm brass section, precise and (as always) artful guitar and a truly dreamy melodeon. It will transform your view of carols. Buy this and buy it now. Put it on before Christmas, over Christmas and afterwards. Feel the warmth and love that have been poured into this album. Oh, and go and see Kate live next year!

Great as always

If you are not a Kate Rusby fan already then this album may make you a dedicated follower. Lovely arrangements of Christmas music done in a slightly unusual way - this is possibly the best version of The Holly and the Ivy I have heard. Only regret is that it is a Christmas album, however I will put up with any bad luck and plan to play this album all year round. All in all a fantastic album - Kate Rusby's done it again!

Sweet Bells

Sweet is the word! Many Christmas albums you play only once or twice, but this is a classic you will play tis again and again. Her interpretations of the traditional carols are truly original and the whole album is touching and joyous. Buy it and enjoy!


Born: 01 December 1973 in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, Englan

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Folk singer/songwriter Kate Rusby has lived in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, since birth, and grew up in a musical family. Her parents had a ceilidh dance band and introduced her to British folk at an early age. Along with her sister, Emma, Rusby joined the band, singing backup and playing the fiddle. By the time she was 12, Rusby also sang lead and played guitar. At 15, she debuted at the Holmfirth Festival, and was introduced to another young folk singer, Kathryn Roberts; after playing together live...
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Sweet Bells, Kate Rusby
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Customer Ratings