It was about 15 years ago when I first heard the beautiful vocals of English folksinger and songwriter Kate Rusby. I was walking through a small shop in the U.K., and the album that was playing on the shop’s sound system was her 2003 offering, Underneath the Stars.
I walked out—with a copy of the CD in my bag—as a new fan, and I’ve been enjoying Rusby’s forward-looking traditional folk stylings ever since.
Late last month, Rusby released a new album of Christmas music, Holly Head, which features tunes ranging from the traditional Lu Lay to the quirky Hippo for Christmas to Christina Rossetti’s classic Bleak Mid-Winter (Yorkshire). For non-seasonal offerings, check out her 2019 performance of Benjamin Bowmaneer at the Shrewsbury Folk Festival.
In addition to her vocal stylings, Rusby is also an excellent songwriter. Her work is covered by other artists, such as the international vocal group VOCES8 with their beautiful arrangement of Underneath the Stars. (VOCES8’s recent holiday concert in Georgetown was the subject of an earlier post this month.)
From her breakout recordings in 1999 all the way through her most recent releases, Kate Rusby has remained true to her acoustic and folk roots. I’m glad she found her calling, and I’m also appreciative that a chance encounter in a shop in her native land led me to this talented musician.
More to come…