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 for a while, the duo recorded Kate Rusby & Kathryn Roberts, which won Folk Roots' 1995 Album of the Year award. Rusby also collaborates with the female folk ensemble the Poozies, appearing on their 1997 album Come Raise Your Head and 1998's Infinite Blue. On her own, Kate Rusby has released 1998's Hourglass, and 1999 saw the U.S. release of Kate Rusby & Kathryn Roberts, as well as the solo Sleepless. Little Lights appeared in spring 2001. She released 10, a collection of re-recorded and new tunes, as well as a handful of live cuts in 2003, followed by the acclaimed Underneath the Stars in 2004. Girl Who Couldn't Fly arrived the next year and in 2007, Rusby wrote and produced her next solo album, Awkward Annie. While December 2008 brought the release of her first Christmas album, Sweet Bells, the following year Rusby gave birth to her first child, Daisy Della, and subsequently took a brief break from the music industry.
However, she returned in November 2010 with Make the Light, an album that consisted entirely of Rusby’s own compositions. A year later, she issued a second seasonal album, While Mortals Sleep, before celebrating two decades of making music with October 2012’s 20, a double-album’s worth of collaborations with artists such as Paul Weller, Eddi Reader, and Mary Chapin Carpenter. Taking time out after the birth of her second child, Rusby returned two years later with 2014's Ghost. The following year, she added to her seasonal album tally with her third Christmas-themed release, The Frost Is All Over. 2016 saw the release of her 14th album, Life in a Paper Boat. ~ Heather Phares