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This debut album by the young English folk singer Kate Rusby comes across the water with enormous hype behind it, so one's first impulse is to listen with a little cynicism. But from the first track she takes that impulse and demolishes it -- or, more accurately, sings and rocks it gently to sleep. Her voice is not perfect, but it's used perfectly: she sings in a clear but just slightly ragged high alto, without gimmick and without self-consciousness. The songs she picks are perfect, too: a sprightly old English knights-and-dragons ballad ("Sir Eglamore"), songs about doomed young love ("Drowned Lovers," "Annan Waters") and an absolutely gorgeous original, also about doomed young love. There's also a country song, though you won't recognize it as such, and an adaptation of "I Am Stretched on Your Grave" that should put Sinead O'Connor out of business (though to be fair, Sinead's version wasn't bad either). Her backup is, not to belabor the term here, perfect throughout, in particular the fiddling of John McCusker and the harmony singing of Davy Steele. This is a thrilling album, hopefully the first of many.
Performance CreditsKate Rusby Primary Artist,Guitar,Piano,Vocals
Ian Carr Guitar
Alison Kinnaird Cello
Andy Cutting Accordion (Diatonic)
John McCusker Fiddle
Alan Reid Vocal Harmony
Eric Rigler uillean pipes
Michael McGoldrick Flute,Human Whistle
Tony McManus Guitar
Davy Steele Vocal Harmony
Technical CreditsIan Carr Arranger
Andy Cutting Contributor
John McCusker Arranger,Producer
Kate Rusby Arranger