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The most under-rated female singer songwriter we have
on 13 October 2007
She's lovely is Kate Rusby ...don't you think? I guess the fact you are on this page reading this sort of answers the question but you know...the points worth making anyway. She sings ....well that's what she does .Pure gorgeous cut glass vocals with no screeching , hyperventilating or warbling , just proper gliding vocals . Listening to Kate is always an absolute treat. She writes good songs as well .Five of the tracks on this album are written by Kate -the others are her usual impeccable arrangements of traditional songs -and while you will never be surprised by a Kate Rusby album that's sort of the point. She can always be relied upon to compose quality music within a specific genre (folk in case you haven't been paying attention) and has been doing this for some time now.
Awkward Annie is her seventh solo album and the first self produced effort ( Joe helped it says on the back cover) after the split from husband/producer John McCusker( Who still plays on the album ) .The usual mix of tender ballads and mildly quirky numbers are embellished sometimes by strings ,sometimes brass , even banjo on "Planets" and mandolin on "The Old Man" while guest vocalists Chris Thile and Eddie Reader pop up on "High On A Hill" and "Daughter Of Heaven". John Hudson adds operatic backing on a stunning arrangement of the traditional "Blooming Heather". "Bonus track" a cover of the Kinks "The Village Green Preservation Society " recorded for the BBC,s "Jam And Jerusalem" series is the nearest I have heard Kate hop genres , apart from the duet with Ronan Keating.
The album notes state that "For many reasons this record has been immensely tough to make" and it shows for this is a more persuasively melancholic album than Kate has made before . This is especially true in tracks like the lament to someone who has gone "Daughter Of Heaven " or the poignant " The Bitter Boy". Whatever trauma or difficulties inscribed them selves onto "Awkward Annie " it has aided in the making of another terrific Kate Rusby album and while there is nothing quite as magnificent as my favourite Kate Rusby song -"All Gods Angels " from "Sleepless" - there is no dreary wadding either. Yes she,.s lovely is Kate and more importantly I suppose she is one this country's most talented singer songwriters and an inexplicably under appreciated one at that.