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Sleepless

Kate Rusby

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Album Review

Hourglass, her 1998 debut, was a huge hit in her native Britain, and with good reason: her voice is a sweet but slightly rough mezzo, she sings and plays guitar with equal plainspoken skill, and she picks great songs. So you can't blame her for sticking with a winning strategy on her follow-up. With the help of young producer and fiddler John McCusker (of the Battlefield Band), Rusby serves up a generous program of minimally arranged traditional songs, as well as a few originals; there are more guest musicians this time out, including American folkies Tim O'Brien and Darrell Scott, but they never clutter the sound or pull the focus away from Rusby's gentle Yorkshire-tinted singing. There's also an Iris DeMent cover, a version of the sweetly affecting "Our Town"-a song whose distinctly middle American overtones don't necessarily ring completely true in this context. But "Botany Bay" certainly does, and so does "The Fairest of All Yarrow," and if on "The Cobbler's Daughter" Rusby drops grisly details with a disquietingly off-hand grace, well, welcome to the wonderful world of traditional music. Highly recommended.

Biography

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...
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Sleepless, Kate Rusby
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