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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

...yet again...

Fine work here and such a unique and sweetly expressive voice. I'm delighted to see this album on iTunes. Kate's work is so delightful and this one's as sweet as Little Lights and Underneath the Stars. ...sure wish we could access some of the Live at Leeds videos - I'd purchase those instantly. Thanks Kate! Again..... s

Awkward Annie

This album is Kate's best yet. There isn't a weak cut in the bunch. Ms Rusby gets better with each effort. If you try this album and like it as much as I do, please write to her and encourage her to come to the U.S. for a tour. She's beyond wonderful live.

Talent, talent, talent.

I've been listening to Kate Rusby's music for about three months and, frankly, I think all the other 3,000 songs on my iPod are jealous of Kate. I could easily recommend ANY of her albums for the uninitiated, but "Awkward Annie" is a beautiful introduction to the poignancy of her lyrics, the beauty of her guitar-playing and the subtle power of this artist. An interview with Kate revealed that "Bitter Boy" is her favorite songs. I would add "Planets" and "Blooming Heather" to the long list of other beautes.


Born: December 1, 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...
Full Bio
Awkward Annie, Kate Rusby
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Customer Ratings