Kate Rusby has been played on mainstream radio and established an ardent following among people who normally dislike folk music. She’s had artists like Bonnie Raitt, Richard Thompson, Andy Kershaw and Timothy White singing her praises.
Kate Rusby has been played on mainstream radio and established an ardent following among people who’d previously sworn blind they hated folk musicShe’s had everyone from Bonnie Raitt and Richard Thompson to Andy Kershaw and Timothy White singing her praisesShe’s topped folk and roots charts and headlined major festivals all over Europe
The inherently dramatic storytelling of folk song has the same allure to her now as it did when she first heard her parents singing those songs to her when she was a toddlerSpending her childhood at folk festivals and listening to Nic Jones on her Walkman when all her mates were listening to Bon Jovi, she inevitably turned to playing fiddle and singing harmonies in her parents ceilidh dance band when she was twelveAnother Barnsley folk star Dave Burland inspired her to take up the guitar
At fifteen, Kate got her first gig at Holmfirth Festival. She hasn’t looked back since, gradually developing her style to include the odd contemporary song (Iris Dement’ Our Town on Sleepless and Richard Thompson’s Withered And Died on Little Lights) and developing her own songwriting to nestle easily alongside the traditional material. In August 2, she toured with a folk superband, with artists such as John McCusker and Andy Cutting, and legendary ex-Pentangle bass player Danny Thompson, ex-Fairground Attraction singer Eddi Reader, and bluegrass favorite Tim O’Brien.
For the Little Lights recording sessions she was joined by Alison Brown, Ian Carr, Andy Cutting, John Doyle, John McCusker, Michael McGoldrick, Tim O’Brien, Danny Thompson and Andy Seward. She named the album Little Lights after a long drive home in the fog, when cat’s eyes were the only salvation“Also you can see for mile from the studio window and because most of the time recording was done through winter when it was dark earlier, all you could see was thousands of little lights twinkling away.”
There was a delicious moment at the 1999 Mercury Music Prize when Kate Rusby finished singing Our Town, put down a guitar almost as big as her and went to receive her award for Sleepless, as one of the 12 Best British Albums of the Year. She briefly surveyed the suited and booted mass of music industry high flyers at one of London’s swankiest hotels and addressed them in that glorious Barnsley accent… “I’m dead proud to be a folk singer…”
In 2008, Rusby released Sweet Bells, an album of traditional Christmas songs. In 2010, Rusby put out the album Make the Light and in 2011 she released another set of Christmas songs titled While Mortals Sleep.
Kate Rusby and Kathryn Roberts (1995)
Hourglass (Pure Records PRCD2,1997/USA: Compass Records)
Cowsong (Pure Records PRCD4, 1998)
Infinite Blue, with The Poozies (Pure Records, 1999)
Sleepless (Pure Records PRCD6, 1999/USA: Compass Records)
Little Lights (Pure Records PRCD7, 2001/USA: Compass Records)
Underneath the Stars (2003)
The Girl Who Couldn’t Fly (2005)
Awkward Annie (2007)
Sweet Bells (2008)
Make the Light (2010)
While Mortals Sleep (2011)
Life in a Paper Boat (Pure Records, 2016)