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Kate Rusby
Kate Rusby 10

Review By Steven Stone
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Kate Rusby Kate Rusby 10

CD Number: Compass Records 7 4350 2


  Kate Rusby looks too young to have been performing for ten years. But in an age when even teenagers boast of their credentials as show business veterans, it shouldn't be to surprising that a young woman in her mid-twenties can celebrate her first decade in the business. Rather than a "greatest hits" compilation, 10 is a collection of songs that Kate especially likes, recorded during the last six years. Nine of the fifteen selections were done in 2002. Every song is either a traditional tune arranged by Kate or an original written by Kate and John McCusker.

For those unfamiliar with Kate Rusby, she performs English music that sounds as timeless as the moors themselves and as authentic as twelve-year-old single malt whiskey. Her voice has a purity and power that ideally suits it to old tunes of love lost and found. Accompanied by her producer, John McCusker, on cittern, piano, fiddle, banjo, and Viola, musicians Andy Cutting on accordion, Ewn Vernel on double bass, Ian Carr and John Doyle on guitars, Micheal McGoldrick on flute, Rusby's voice is a diamond set in a ring of emeralds.

Compass Records has developed a justifiably fine reputation for good sounding recordings. 10 certainly lives up to Compass' high sonic standards. Paul McGeechan of Paw Paw mastering does a superlative job roping together into a cohesive sonic whole recordings from three different studios made over a six-year period. The sound is natural and relaxed with great clarity and realistic ambience.

In this age of flashy and superficial media sensations it's refreshing to experience music that focuses on one particular traditional style. Instead of a shallow trench, Kate Rusby digs a deep well in the dark loam of her heritage. Have a drink, it will refresh your soul.




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