I first encountered Kate Rusby in an interview in a guitar magazine, and, as she is shortly to visit Morecambe, thought I would purchase a CD before purchasing a concert ticket. Reviews on this Amazon site made choosing difficult, but in the end I opted for this one.
As other reviewers have commented, Kate Rusby's voice is delightful, with a lovely natural sound. Especially winsome is her refusal to mask her Yorkshire accent, and as a fellow notherner I like to hear "mother" pronounced as "mutha", "love" as "luv" and so on! And the voicing is lovely too; listen to the magical voicing of the word "rode" in the lines "..she rode through fields of barley, and she rode through fields of corn.." on "Rose in April."
In the interview I read, Kate Rusby said she considers herself a singer rather than a songwriter. I agree with another reviewer who thinks "Hourglass" is the best song on the album. Besides THAT haunting voice, there is some lovely imagery of "Old Man Time" whose hourglass for Kate seems to have less sand than most people's, causing Kate to wonder if God didn't give him all her sand, or whether hers has been shared with someone else, or washed away, and to wonder if she brought some in a sack, perhaps he'd give some back. Marvellous!
The CD is a mixture of originals, traditional, and traditional lyrics adapted or put to original tunes. The arrangements are very tastefully done, too, with all of the (variety of) instruments adding to the sound without encroaching on it. In the interview I read, Kate expressed a preference for sad songs - plenty of those here! I haven't exposed myself to "traditional" folk music for quite a while, this could now change. I can't wait for the concert, and intend purchasing her other CDs.