Top positive review
35 people found this helpful
Showcase voice, delightful instrumentation...
on 19 November 2002
At the risk of being misunderstood, I would say that this is not the best starting point of Kate Rusby's material. This is a very personal view, from a farirly "non-folk" person. It's just that if I'd bought this album first I'm not sure whether I'd have fully apprciated Kate's music. To me the album has a more "traditional folk" feel than the others. Before I get shot down in flames, I think it's a wonderful album. It's simply that it maybe isn't quite as accessible to those who are relatively new to the great Kate Rusby or to English folk music, and maybe "Hourglass" or "Little lights" would be a better starting point - and hopefully the beginning of an addiction!
"Cobbler's daughter" tells the tale of a young lass whose mother is in prison for accidentally killing a young man who was getting a little fresh with her daughter in her chamber. Like the other songs on the album, the instrumental breaks are a delight. "I wonder what is keeping my true love" and "Fairest of all Yarrow" showcase Kate's voice beautifully. "Wild Goose" has some gorgeously sweet violin playing between verses. "All God's angels" is another heart-render..
"Our town" is exquisite. I had never heard the song - nor even of it - before encountering this album. What a song, and what a rendition! The song is intensely moving: "but hold on to your lover, cause your heart's gonna die.." becomes "I'll hold on to my lover, cause my heart's just died.." As with many of her renditions of sad songs, Kate sings in a natural, almost matter-of-fact sort of way that somehow makes the song all the more moving. It's hard to explain, but if you listen to any of her material you'll understand what I mean. The guitar and especially the mandolin on this track are terrific - again almost understated,letting the song breathe rather than dominating it. This approach to instrumentation is fairly typical, and probably the result of John McCusker's shrewd understanding of the genre.
Yes, I think that "Sleepless" is just as good as "Hourglass" and "Little Lights." If you haven't got any of Kate's albums, consider buying one or both of the others first. If you already have one or both of the others but not this one yet, you should be ashamed of yourself!