Kate Rusby: The Girl Who Couldn’t Fly – Kate Rusby, vocals and guitar; featuring John McCusker, Ian Carr, John Doyle and many others – Compass Records

by | Dec 2, 2005 | Pop/Rock/World CD Reviews | 0 comments

Kate Rusby: The Girl Who Couldn’t Fly – Kate Rusby, vocals and
guitar; featuring John McCusker, Ian Carr, John Doyle and many others –
Compass Records 7 4420 2 – 50 min. ****:

The title of folk singer extraordinaire Kate Rusby’s sixth album refers
to some self-deprecating humor regarding her fear of flying – she
avoids flying at all costs. The album also represents a departure of
sorts for her personally, because most of the songs on the disc are
original compositions. To quote from Compass Records’ web site: “The
same graceful, timeless feel of the songs Kate digs out of dusty old
books can be found in her own compositions. A casual listener would be
hard-pressed to distinguish one from the other.” How very true, and
perhaps the most telling aspect of the new record as opposed to her
past work is in the arrangements and instrumentation; a really good
example is her reworking of the traditional “Game of All Fours,” where
she employs a horn section discreetly throughout. Kate Rusby’s silken
delivery rings the song true to its folk origins, while the
instrumentation gives it a bit of a modern twist. The adornments are
always tasteful and never over-the-top, and the album retains a true
folk feel that hearkens to her previous body of work.

For anyone unfamiliar with Kate Rusby’s magical voice, hearing this
album will be a real treat; for her legion of fans, this disc is
already an instant classic. Not to flog a dead horse, but it’s just
eerily uncanny how her originals have such a powerful connection to a
bygone era – this disc definitely transports you to another place. And
her voice is just miraculous! Very highly recommended, and instantly
addictive – you’ll want to rush out and get all her records, and maybe
even check into travel plans to England to catch some of her live shows!

Tracks: Game Of All Fours; The Lark; No Names; Mary Blaize; A Ballad;
You Belong To Me; Elfin Knight; Bonnie House of Airlie; Moon Shadow:
Wandering Soul; Fare Thee Well; Little Jack Frost.

— Tom Gibbs  

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