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Awkward Annie

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Album Review

It's both more of the same and all change for Kate Rusby on her new album: more of the same because she brings the same intimacy and warm voice to the proceedings, and a clutch of good songs, superbly arranged and performed; all change because she produced the disc herself, following a split with husband John McCusker (who's here as a musician on some cuts), and because there's a slightly greater percentage of her own material in among the traditional fare. There's a definite sense of loss in her own songs, not only in the title track and "Bitter Boy" but also the gorgeous "Daughter of Heaven," that speaks of a tumultuous few years in her personal life. Her writing has improved, with a sharpness and reflection that suit her style well. But many come to Rusby for her interpretations of traditional songs, and she doesn't disappoint here: "John Barbury" is a lovely variant on "Willie O'Winsbury," and "Blooming Heather," "The Streams of Lovely Nancy," and "Andrew Lammie" don't disappoint. But everything is excellent, and even the air of melancholy that pervades much of the album doesn't alter the quality. However, it all ends on a much brighter note with a cover of the Kinks' "The Village Green Preservation Society," which was used as the theme for a British sitcom. It's a loving, sprightly homage, about the closest to rock that Rusby has ever come (and that isn't too close), as well as a reminder of how acute a writer Ray Davies could be. It's hard to tell if this is the closing of an old chapter or the beginning of a new one, but there's a definite sense of transition.

Customer Reviews

One of Kate Rusby's best.

I think this album is one of Kate Rusby's best. It contains just brilliant songs like Planets, Awkward Annie and Blooming heather. It took me a few listens to get into it, but I think this makes it all the better. The performance of 'The band' is excellent and complements the vocals beautifully. The album is brilliant, but Kate Rusby is ten times better live!

See this singer

Went to see Kate in Snape Maltings on the launch tour and it was one of the best gigs ever. Kate Rusby draws on traditional themes and melodies and makes them her own. I don't normally like comparisons with other artists but I can't help mentioning Sandy Denny and June Tabor. Kate follows in that line a superb voices (she can't put a note wrong!) coupled with great songs - including the obligatory murder song which appears in all trad English repertiore. The band is superb. A masterly album carried out by fine practitioners and good people.


I saw Kate at the Playhouse in Oxford the other week and she was brill!! She played some of this album; ' Awkward Annie' is such great song as are the others. Superb voice, amazing music; what more could you ask for?!


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...
Full bio
Awkward Annie, Kate Rusby
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Customer Ratings