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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's all true.
Everything you've heard of Kate Rusby is true. And it's had no better demonstration than on this disk.
Song after song of her blissful voice and a band absolutely on the top of their game. The combination may just leave you in slack-jawed bewonderment.
I suppose the thing that really resonates from the experience of listening to "Little Lights" is that you have...
Published on 16 Feb 2004 by George Connor

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6 of 52 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Overrated, tedious, maudlin
If your idea of folk music is long, maudlin ballads sung in a listless little-girl voice to a pretty, inoffensive accompaniment, this is an album for you. Let me stress that my complaint is not about the material itself, but the characterless way it is delivered, and the failure to vary it in any way. Three albums now, and Ms. Rubbish has yet to change tempo once. If...
Published on 17 Dec 2002 by Clive Wilshin


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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's all true., 16 Feb 2004
By 
George Connor (The Remote Parts of, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Little Lights (Audio CD)
Everything you've heard of Kate Rusby is true. And it's had no better demonstration than on this disk.
Song after song of her blissful voice and a band absolutely on the top of their game. The combination may just leave you in slack-jawed bewonderment.
I suppose the thing that really resonates from the experience of listening to "Little Lights" is that you have an over-riding sensation that the songs were all written two hundred years ago and you've heard them throughout your entire life. You haven't, and five of these were penned within the last few years by Rusby herself. But there's a timelessness here (in its most faithful meaning - absolutely defying chronological positioning) which fosters a weight of history, a sense that they're all part of your life.
It sounds pretentious, I know.
But hear me out. The album flows perfectly and there is no weak track. And just when you think your sweet-melancholy can't be any further rung from you, she finishes off with "My Young Man", recorded with the brass of the Grimethorpe Colliery Band. The song just staggers your legs and knocks the wind from your chest. No fancy production but, building from an a capella opening, the most subtle and moving arrangement imagineable. It's the song that nails the fifth star to this review.
I don't like to award five stars to anything but as the album winds up and I've got this knot in my chest, I just can't not.
Do yourself a favour. Click "Add to basket".
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Head and heartfelt, 12 Mar 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Little Lights (Audio CD)
I have listened to Irish Folk for over twenty years... Condemning the English equivilant as tuneless and rough. Kate Rusby has won me over. This amasing album has not been off my CD player since I purchased it three weeks ago. "My young Man" brings me to tears every time I hear it. Folk music is alive and well in England, and it Hails from Barnsley.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hauntingly beautiful, 19 Nov 2002
This review is from: Little Lights (Audio CD)
The opening strains of this CD let you know what to expect: a hauntingly beautiful, natural voice along with simple accompaniment that together send the songs right into your heart.
Kate Rusby specialises in heart-breaking songs, whether "traditional" or originals - of which more later. This distinction is actually quite hard to make, as some of Kate's songs sound traditional but are her own compositions - a testimony to the way that she has imbibed folk music until it permeates her completely! In some cases she takes a traditional song but sets it to her own tune, either because the original tune is now lost, or simply because she wants to breathe fresh life into it.
This is at least as good as her two earlier albums. It is hard to articulate the appeal of her music. Her singing is very natural and, I suppose, understated - her voice seems to allow the songs to speak almost for themselves. I am reluctant to make comparisons, but the emotional power of her singing seems to "work" in much the same way as that of Sandy Denny.
It is hard to choose highlights. "Matt Hyland," "Withered and died", "My young man"... My absolute favourite is easily stated, however. "Who will sing me lullabies" is a heart-rending tribute to one of the backing singers on her first album. Here you see the skill of Kate's songwriting and singing as she invokes the angels who "heard my heart breaking, for it rang through the skies.." From anyone else a line like "The Man in the Moon, oh, he can't help but cry.... for there's no-one to sing me lullabies.." would sound corny, but from Kate it sounds just right, and unspeakably sorrowful. Even her vocalisation of the word "lullabies" gets right inside you... Many of her songs have the same effect!
I can't really say any more... just get this album and delight in it! And if you get the chance to see Kate in concert, don't miss out! She is down-to-earth and appealing on stage. One moment she is tearing your heart out with her singing, the next she is making you laugh out loud with some anecdote or other!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This album is pure inspirational Rusby, 24 July 2001
By A Customer
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This review is from: Little Lights (Audio CD)
Very rarely does an artist make three albums in a row where all have the same quality, beauty and carry the same delight. This album, Rusby's third, highlights her own inspirational songwriting. Favorites include 'who will sing me lullabies' and a heartwrenching song about her grandparents. These will most certainly bring a tear to the eye. Anyone who has not seen Kate live, must. This Barnsley lass is funny, witty and her voice live is just as breathtaking and pure as on her albums. So if you want a Rusby album...buy all three!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She has done it again!!, 22 Feb 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Little Lights (Audio CD)
She has done it again!! This album is pure magic all the way through even if Froots thinks no chances are taken. The mix of musical styles from notable contributors and the creative use of the brass band has the emotions moving one way and the other. For me there are two songs that I cannot get out of my head - "Who Will Sing Me Lullabies" is sublime and almost as moving as the tear jerking "Withered And Died". To top it all she is beautiful as well! I have played this album at work and several people have bought it as a result. Roll on the fourth album
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars little lights-big star, 1 Oct 2002
By 
Mr. Geoffrey M. Teece "gmteece2" (Birmingham UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Little Lights (Audio CD)
Every so often-and it isn't very often-an artist appears who seems to be descended from a transcendent realm; a kind of Platonic form of beauty. Kate Rusby is surely one such artist. All three of her solo albums have been gems but this one even surpasses the Mercury nominated 'Sleepless'. For once the media hype surrounding this artist is well and truly deserved. She is thoroughly modern taking folk music to those who have never previously considered it-just look at the cross-section of people who attend her concerts. But she is more than just a modern young woman who 'is dead proud to be a folk singer'. This album illustrates something that is particularly difficult to articulate. But its essential beauty and brilliance lies within a paradox. That is that in interpreting folk songs, and writing her own, to reflect the times in which she is living, Rusby is giving an utterly authentic voice to the ancientness of the folk tradition. When were these sings written? Yes, today but also yesterday and, hopefully, always. Here is a modern folk record that is the most traditional of artefacts. I hope Kate Rusby would regard this as the compliment it is meant to be.
It is very difficult to pick out tracks from this. The up-tempo numbers such as 'I courted a sailor' and 'William and Davey' show off the band at their best; subtle, sophisticated and truly uplifting arrangements. The 'slower' tracks are all sublime, from the haunting 'Let the Cold Wind Blow' to her own two beauties, 'Who will sing me lullabies' and 'My young man'. It is almost impossible to listen to these latter two without being moved to tears. If there is one reservation it is that all these songs sound even better now in live performance, more testimony to the fact that Kate Rusby is contributing massively to the organicness of the tradition.
She is a rare talent and this is a beautiful record. How fitting that the cover photograph shows her with a halo of stars. Little Lights but a big, big star.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rusby's best album, 4 Mar 2006
By 
This review is from: Little Lights (Audio CD)
Having been following this singer/songwriter for nearly ten years now, I believe that "Little Lights" is Kate's best. Unlike her rather dreary efforts "Sleepless" or "Underneath The Stars", there is a splendid variety of both textures and styles and the musicians are allowed to get carried away. There's some lively input from McGoldrick (flutes), McCusker (fiddle) and Carr (guitar), the latter providing some stunning arrangements as well as rhythmic impetus. This sophistication complements the simplicity of the lyrics and Rusby's beautiful but somewhat mono-dynamic voice.
This album also contains what may be her finest song. "My Young Man" is an unaffected but devastating account of her grandmother nursing her grandfather through chronic illness, a result of years spent working in the mines. The brass band arrangement works perfectly... the effect is enough to make a grown man cry!
If you're a fan of acoustic music, fine singing and musical craftsmanship, you'll love this.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection, 1 Nov 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Little Lights (Audio CD)
This was the album that introduced me to Kate Rusby. I'd had a recommendation from a friend that she was something special and one day I bought this on a whim. I was immediately drawn in by the wistfulness and pureness of her voice and by the time I reached "Let The Cold Wind Blow" I knew that Kate's music was going to be a major part of my life from then on. Superb musicianship from all concerned, particularly the multi-talented John McCusker, who also produced the album.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Guaranteed to turn any listener on to folk!, 11 Sep 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Little Lights (Audio CD)
The girl from Barnsely with the voice from heaven has created her 3rd collection of haunting ballads, ranging from her unique interpretation of traditional songs to her own compostion inspired by the first and only time that her heart has been broken.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEAUTIFUL AND AMAZING, 11 Oct 2004
This review is from: Little Lights (Audio CD)
This is the first album i have bought of Kate's but definately wont be the last. Her voice is amazing and her yorkshire accent coming through is a welcome change. i recently saw her at the Lyceum in Sheffield and it was the best gig i have seen. there was no faultering notes, i could have been listening to the CD her voice was so good. And John Mcusker was always fishing for another instrument! The 5 members of the grimethorpe colliery band were a welcome treat as were the other members of the band and they all brought humour to the stage in between each song. i cant wait for another chance to see them all.
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Little Lights
Little Lights by Kate Rusby (Audio CD - 2001)
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