Little Lights

Little Lights

by Kate Rusby
     
 
Britain's hottest folk-singing discovery is a diminutive lass from Yorkshire with a wry sense of humor and a unerring talent for shameless intimacy. Kate Rusby's third solo album, Little Lights, mixes hoary old folk ballads with tunes of her own creation -- which are practically indistinguishable, so steeped is she in the traditions and so modern and personal

Overview

Britain's hottest folk-singing discovery is a diminutive lass from Yorkshire with a wry sense of humor and a unerring talent for shameless intimacy. Kate Rusby's third solo album, Little Lights, mixes hoary old folk ballads with tunes of her own creation -- which are practically indistinguishable, so steeped is she in the traditions and so modern and personal is her approach to the old songs. Brought up in a family ceilidh band, she was briefly a fiddling member of the all-girl Brit folk band, the Poozies. Now her solo career is off to a flying start, winning one of the 12 Mercury Music Prizes for Best British Albums of the Year in 1999. The BBC named her Folk Artist of the Year in 2000, but the real prize is ours for the listening. There are plenty of what Rusby dryly refers to as "castle-knocking-down songs," but her art doesn't end there. One luminous example: her tribute to her grandmother's devotion to her now-senile coal-miner husband, "My Young Man." It's eerily unaccompanied at first, then tactfully supported by members of the Grimethorpe Colliery Band, describing the heartbreaking end of a loving, hardworking life. Cheerily tragic and woefully funny, Rusby can write -- and sing -- with the best of them.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
Kate Rusby won over American audiences in 1999 with her second release, Sleepless, an album of traditional-styled songs with simple arrangements that highlighted her best quality: a lovely, middle-range voice, vulnerable without being waifish. Little Lights continues in the same mode, mixing old ballads with originals and throwing in an occasional contemporary piece. "Merry Green Broom" and "Some Tyrant" are simple and tasteful, continuing Rusby's commitment to the images of old England, while "William and Davy" and "I Courted a Sailor" kick up the tempo a bit. A number of guests, from Tim O'Brien to Danny Thompson to Alison Brown, make appearances, and John McCusker once again lends a hand to the production. A slightly different arrangement featuring brass adorns "My Young Man," complementing Rusby's relaxed style and calling to mind Norma Waterson's approach on Bright Shiny Morning. While there are no bad cuts on Little Lights, there probably isn't enough variety. With a couple of exceptions, the songs unwind at a leisurely pace, and most hover around four minutes. There is nothing quite as lovely and lively as "The Cobbler's Daughter" and "Sweet Bride" from Sleepless. Although more variety would have helped, Little Lights is still a solid effort. Fans will enjoy it, and it will also serve as a good introduction to those unfamiliar with this lovely English singer.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/12/2001
Label:
Compass Records
UPC:
0766397431024
catalogNumber:
974310
Rank:
62697

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kate Rusby   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Alison Brown   Banjo
Ian Carr   Guitar
Sandra Smith   Horn
Eddi Reader   Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Andy Cutting   Accordion
John Doyle   Guitar
John Beverly Jones   Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Richard Marshall   Cornet
John McCusker   Fiddle,Human Whistle,Whistle (Instrument),Cittern
Kevin Morris   Bells
Tim O'Brien   Mandolin,Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Máirtín O'Connor   Accordion
Darrell Scott   Guitar,Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Ewen Vernal   Double Bass
Michael McGoldrick   Banjo,Human Whistle,Whistle (Instrument),Tenor Banjo
Malcolm Stitt   Bouzouki
Andy Seward   Double Bass
Shaun Crowther   Tuba
Michael "Mike Dee" Johnson   Fiddle
Alan Morrison   Cornet

Technical Credits

Ian Carr   Arranger
Sandra Smith   Brass Arrangment
John McCusker   Arranger,Producer,Engineer
Kate Rusby   Arranger,Engineer
Andy Seward   Engineer
Brian Ledgard   Artwork
Joe Rusby   Engineer

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