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Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly

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harpmolly 16 Oct 05 - 09:57 PM
alanabit 17 Oct 05 - 08:39 AM
GUEST,Ed 17 Oct 05 - 06:48 PM
harpmolly 17 Oct 05 - 09:41 PM
Strollin' Johnny 18 Oct 05 - 08:03 AM
Snuffy 18 Oct 05 - 08:35 AM
GUEST,julie 18 Oct 05 - 10:46 AM
GUEST 18 Oct 05 - 10:56 AM
Le Scaramouche 18 Oct 05 - 10:59 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 18 Oct 05 - 12:00 PM
GUEST 18 Oct 05 - 12:41 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 18 Oct 05 - 01:18 PM
GUEST 18 Oct 05 - 01:24 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 18 Oct 05 - 01:28 PM
Lizzie Cornish 18 Oct 05 - 01:37 PM
GUEST 19 Oct 05 - 06:08 AM
Le Scaramouche 19 Oct 05 - 07:27 AM
GUEST 19 Oct 05 - 07:35 AM
MuddleC 19 Oct 05 - 08:18 AM
GUEST,John Barnes. 19 Oct 05 - 06:50 PM
harpmolly 19 Oct 05 - 10:45 PM
GUEST 19 Oct 05 - 11:00 PM
Strollin' Johnny 20 Oct 05 - 08:03 AM
GUEST,Bainbo 20 Oct 05 - 08:52 AM
greg stephens 20 Oct 05 - 09:00 AM
Strollin' Johnny 20 Oct 05 - 11:14 AM
The Villan 20 Oct 05 - 12:23 PM
GUEST,DB 20 Oct 05 - 12:36 PM
GUEST 20 Oct 05 - 06:13 PM
harpmolly 20 Oct 05 - 09:57 PM
greg stephens 21 Oct 05 - 03:53 AM
GUEST 21 Oct 05 - 04:23 AM
greg stephens 21 Oct 05 - 04:45 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 21 Oct 05 - 05:43 AM
van lingle 21 Oct 05 - 06:09 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 21 Oct 05 - 06:09 AM
GUEST,DB 21 Oct 05 - 06:37 AM
GUEST 21 Oct 05 - 09:08 PM
GUEST 22 Oct 05 - 11:52 AM
Le Scaramouche 22 Oct 05 - 02:21 PM
GUEST,Eric 22 Oct 05 - 03:13 PM
harpmolly 22 Oct 05 - 11:50 PM
GUEST,Regular 'catter who's name doesn't matter. 23 Oct 05 - 07:52 PM
GUEST,DB 24 Oct 05 - 08:49 AM
GUEST,My Name Doesn't Matter Either 24 Oct 05 - 09:31 AM
Peace 24 Oct 05 - 02:30 PM
greg stephens 24 Oct 05 - 02:36 PM
Guy Wolff 24 Oct 05 - 05:40 PM
Strollin' Johnny 25 Oct 05 - 06:43 AM
GUEST,Kate Rusby 25 Oct 05 - 06:50 AM
Strollin' Johnny 25 Oct 05 - 06:59 AM
Paco Rabanne 25 Oct 05 - 08:28 AM
Strollin' Johnny 25 Oct 05 - 09:02 AM
Guy Wolff 25 Oct 05 - 07:34 PM
GUEST,jOhn 27 Oct 05 - 02:46 PM
GUEST,Guest - Roger 31 Oct 05 - 12:07 PM
harpmolly 31 Oct 05 - 02:50 PM
GUEST,Lea 01 Nov 05 - 12:41 PM
GUEST,Tam Gatyhers,Glasgow. 01 Nov 05 - 05:36 PM
harpmolly 01 Nov 05 - 10:33 PM
harpmolly 01 Nov 05 - 10:35 PM
Cyparissa 02 Nov 05 - 06:28 AM
GUEST,Lea 02 Nov 05 - 04:07 PM
harpmolly 02 Nov 05 - 05:15 PM
Cyparissa 02 Nov 05 - 05:34 PM
GUEST,Arbuthnot 02 Nov 05 - 10:46 PM
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harpmolly 03 Nov 05 - 11:18 PM
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Subject: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: harpmolly
Date: 16 Oct 05 - 09:57 PM

I just got Kate Rusby's new album, and true to form, I was underwhelmed the first time I listened to it and then got more and more addicted to it as I listened to it a few more times.

Anyone else got it, and have any thoughts?

Overall I don't think it's as strong as most of her albums, but there are at least four songs that I think are truly excellent. "The Lark" is very much in her melancholy tradition, and the line "Is it wrong to wish you still need me?" gets me every time. "Wandering Soul" has an infectious chorus that's hard not to sing along to, and "Little Jack Frost" is just wonderful (IMHO of course). And her rendition of "Bonnie House of Airlie" is heartbreaking. As usual, the arrangements are interesting and have beautiful rhythms and combinations of instruments (she does love her brass boys!)

Most of the rest of the album I could take or leave, though nothing she's ever done has been unlistenable (to my ears). I know I'm going to start another "Kate Rusby is the devil incarnate/Can't we just give the girl a break?" discussion, inevitably, but I'm still interested in hearing other people's impressions of the new album.

Molly


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: alanabit
Date: 17 Oct 05 - 08:39 AM

I have an occasional listen to the online radio station http://www.theacousticstage.net/. I quite like the Kate Rusby tracks I have heard there to date, which have been from the new album. I left the UK over twenty years ago though, so I can't comment on her previous career.


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 17 Oct 05 - 06:48 PM

I'm going to start another "Kate Rusby is the devil incarnate/Can't we just give the girl a break?" discussion, inevitably

I'm not sure why you assume that. In my opinion, only one thing is certain: it sounds exactly like the last album, and pretty much like the one before.

I think that that is the "problem" if it should be seen as such.


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: harpmolly
Date: 17 Oct 05 - 09:41 PM

Ed--Sorry about that *grin* It just seems like most of the KR discussions I've read on the forum have eventually become about whether she is/isn't all she's cracked up to be. It certainly isn't a problem for me--even though, as you say, her songs and albums tend to have a certain similarity to them, I still really enjoy listening to her voice and the way she interprets the songs.

There's no question she favors a good depressing ballad about love, death and sailor boys. And I did find much of this album to be a bit disappointing. But overall, I still adore her as a performer, especially because her personality when NOT singing couldn't be more complementary to her preferred repertoire--she's full of mischief and Barnsley attitude, which is fun to watch and listen to.

Molly


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 18 Oct 05 - 08:03 AM

She sells CDs in numbers that the vast majority of UK folk performers couldn't even conceive of, and her concerts are sell-outs (whether solo or in one of the various combinations she's performed with).

All those people can't be wrong.


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: Snuffy
Date: 18 Oct 05 - 08:35 AM

Britney Spears sells CDs in numbers that Kate Rusby couldn't even conceive of, and her concerts are sell-outs.

What has numbers got to do with it?


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: GUEST,julie
Date: 18 Oct 05 - 10:46 AM

and if 50 million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.

but apart from that Kate Rusby's great!!


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Oct 05 - 10:56 AM

I believe she has gone of the boil recently CD's very samey. She needs a change of direction. Last concert I saw her she and hubby where not as proffesional on stage as they should have been.


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 18 Oct 05 - 10:59 AM

I've heard some samples, ok, not the way to judge an album, but it failed to hold me.


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 18 Oct 05 - 12:00 PM

I don't think Kate Rusby is one of "the greats". For example, who in their right mind would say she is anywhere near as talented as Nic Jones! Indeed, if Kate had emerged at the same time as Nic - circa 1970, I don't think she would have caused a ripple. But she is young and attractive - big pluses with aging male folkies! She has a nice stage presence, and I do like the "Yorkshire" thing in her voice.


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Oct 05 - 12:41 PM

What utter twaddle. Nic Jones was good, very good, I saw him live many times, but make no mistake, KR is just as good. Lets hope she does not need a horrific car crash to make you realise that.


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 18 Oct 05 - 01:18 PM

Anyone who thinks Kate Rusby is as good as Nic Jones is ...Well, I don't even think we can talk about matters of opinion - it's just ridiculous!


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Oct 05 - 01:24 PM

Let me tell you this matey. In the seventies there were some very good performers, but therewas an awful lot of dross. The folk revival was still fairly new, lots of clubs and not enough acts to fill them. We can all recall the big names, Nic Jones, Pete Bellamy, Dick Gaugan, Tony Rose etc, but for every one you can remember there are dozens that did not make it. Kate would have been there with the top names - no doubt, no doubt at all.

I find it sickening that great 'new' talent like this has to put up with ill informed crap by people who obviously have no idea about what they are talking.


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 18 Oct 05 - 01:28 PM

By George! That's telling me! On another tack. What is the album cover artwork all about? Does it relate to a track on the album? Or ...?


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: Lizzie Cornish
Date: 18 Oct 05 - 01:37 PM

It a picture of 'The Girl Who Couldn't Fly'....an 'angel'?? with her wings gone and scars where once they were.

Kate is apparently terrified of flying. She spoke to Mike Harding about it on his show....in her wonderful, humourous style.....

Hope that helps....and I love anything Kate Rusby sings. My daughter plays her music so much. But it's her whole personality as well isn't it. Loved the comment above about her being full of mischief and Barnsley attitude. Love her 'Live From Leeds' DVD as well, she'll have you rolling around the floor with her patter...

Lizzie :0)


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Oct 05 - 06:08 AM

Let's face it she put sensuality back into folk music.


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 19 Oct 05 - 07:27 AM

Personally, I'd say that was Eliza Carthy.
Kate Rusby is a good artist, just not to my tastes.


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Oct 05 - 07:35 AM

Exactly!!

Good artist but not to your taste. Well said.

Just because people don't like a particular artist, does not mean that they are no good.


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: MuddleC
Date: 19 Oct 05 - 08:18 AM

Well, having seen her 'solo' at early folk club venues, and watched her from a massed auditorium, I persnally find her at her best without a 'wall' of sound, and that barnsley nightingale voice is pure treacle toffee ice-cream with sprinkles

signed 'ageing folkie'


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: GUEST,John Barnes.
Date: 19 Oct 05 - 06:50 PM

I have three of Kate's C.D.s or to be more precise my wife has, if I leave the room I have no idea which of these I am listening to when I return.
Very samey, very sweet, typical BBC 2 afternoon fare, never saw her live but I can think of many female folk singers who do, or did it much better.


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: harpmolly
Date: 19 Oct 05 - 10:45 PM

*sigh*

I leave the room for five minutes, and exactly what I feared comes to pass...

What I was really hoping to launch a discussion of, rather than another tiresome "She's the greatest/She sucks/She's not worthy to lick Nic Jones' boots" conversation, was a discussion specifically of this latest CD and its relative merits/disappointments. If anyone has actually listened to it, I'm curious to see if you shared my impressions (first post) or how you might agree or disagree. You can PM me if you don't want to lay your neck on the chopping block. :)

I should also say that I totally respect all the opinions posted here, whether or not I agree, with the possible exception of the "Anyone who thinks she's as good as Nic Jones..." To me it's not an either/or proposition. I don't understand why the fact that Nic Jones is apparently the greatest means that anyone who isn't *exactly like him* is therefore beneath contempt. She very well may not be the best performer out there, but at its best her music moves me (and a heck of a lot of other people) in a profound way.
Yes, Kate has achieved a great deal of fame and fortune, on her own merits. Not everyone is wild about her, but she's earned everything she's ever gained and I have enormous respect for her.

I once had a friend who hated musical theatre, which happened to be my major. He once asked me, with very real puzzlement, "Why would you waste your time with musical theatre when you could be reading James Joyce instead?" I wish I could say I had a snappy comeback, but I was so flummoxed by the yawning gulf between our worldviews that I could only gape at him like a fish.

"Must it all be either less or more,
Either plain or grand?
Is it always "or"?
Is it never "and"?" --Stephen Sondheim

Molly

P.S. Snuffy...this'll keep you awake at night. Did you know that "Britney Spears" is an anagram of "Presbyterians"?


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Oct 05 - 11:00 PM

I wish she'd sack her distracting irritating show off live guitarist
and replace him with a harmonium


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 20 Oct 05 - 08:03 AM

And there speaks an irritating green-eyed shite guitarist, if I'm not mistaken


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: GUEST,Bainbo
Date: 20 Oct 05 - 08:52 AM

Or a harmonium player


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: greg stephens
Date: 20 Oct 05 - 09:00 AM

A harmonium payer might be just the thing. Bessie Smith's classic recording of "St Louis Blues" had heavily featured harmonium, and very good it was too. Perhaps Ian Carr should learn to play one, in case hostility to his guitar playing spreads wider than one GUEST on Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 20 Oct 05 - 11:14 AM

One GUEST doth not a winter make, Greg. I use the term GUEST very loosely.


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: The Villan
Date: 20 Oct 05 - 12:23 PM

Kate sold (I think I am correct about this) 40,000 CD's in the first week.
Thats quite a lot in the folk world, I think.
So well done Kate. I am all for people who succeed in whatever they are good at.
Why do people in Britain always like to knock people down, when they are doing well. Is it jealosy or what.


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: GUEST,DB
Date: 20 Oct 05 - 12:36 PM

I was in HMV the other day and browsing through their folk selection (which is not wonderful - but surprisingly good for HMV). They were playing a recording of some woman or other - it was a bit bland and I wasn't taking a lot of notice. Suddenly I realised that the words were those of 'The Streams of Lovely Nancy' - but the tune wasn't - it was a 'make-up-a-moderately-pretty-but-rather-bland-and-forgettable-tune-in-the-bath' sort of tune. The singer was, of course, Kate Rusby! I'm baffled! The traditional tune to 'The Streams of Lovely Nancy' is one of the most beautiful in the canon - why replace it with one not so good?


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Oct 05 - 06:13 PM

Kate sold (I think I am correct about this) 40,000 CD's in the first week.

Then she's a millionaire plus by now.Good luck to her. Maybe the new folkies don't find this such a problem as the old folkies.


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: harpmolly
Date: 20 Oct 05 - 09:57 PM

DB--

She does seem to like writing her own melodies for fairly well-known songs. Sometimes I really like her version, sometimes I prefer the original. Her "Matt Hyland" (on the album Little Lights) is beautiful, a very interesting melody, but still doesn't surpass the haunting, melancholy beauty of the original (which I have heard sung mainly by Andy M. Stewart on "Donegal Rain".

Also, I grant that she's not as edgy as Eliza Carthy, but she definitely has a flair for some sensuality (and even bawd, er, bawdiness?) in her lyrics. (Nose-rings aren't for everyone, you know. ;)) I love "Cowsong"--

O, when this young man he awoke
Both girl and cow were gone O,
And also were the shoes he wore
And the trousers he had on...
Come all you young men near and far
Never heed a maiden's calling,
Never trust a girl with your mother's cow,
Never let your trousers go...

And if you've seen "Live From Leeds", her performance of "The Yorkshire Couple" is as nudge-nudge-wink-wink as you could desire. What many people see as blandness, I see as subtlety. *grin*

Molly


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: greg stephens
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 03:53 AM

If the sales were really 40,000 in one week, wouldnt the album appear at the top of some cgarts somewhere? I thought singles dont even sell this many nowadays. Sounds a bit of am urban myth to me. If she's really coining upwards of £400,000 a week we can expect some Posh and Becks lifestyle stuff shortly.


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 04:23 AM

So you think she earns atenner from each CD?

Hmmm


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: greg stephens
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 04:45 AM

OK I admit a certain hyperbole about the 400 grand a week. But given that she owns the record company, and given the production costs of CDs, and what retailers pay companies for them, I think hundreds of thousands of pounds, rather than tens of thousands, would be a reasonable estimate of her take if she really sold 40,000 a week. But, as I said, I shouldnt think she does. For a start, considering how garrulous Mudcatters are, I would guess that most of those who owned a copy of the record would have have made a comment about it on this thread. And the number of actual named members who have commented on the actual content of the record(as opposed to comments about Kate Rusby) is pretty minimal.
   So, if the proportion of Mudcatters who own the record is small, I would stick my neck out and hazard a guess that the proportion of folkies who own one is small. And the proportion of non-folkies who own one is likely to be negligible. So, as before, I think 40,000 a week sales is highly unlikely.


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 05:43 AM

Kate is pretty high profile these days. For example, she's on the cover - and main feature - in the HMV's Choice magazine Sept/Oct issue. I bet no other folkies have had that sort of exposure before


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: van lingle
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 06:09 AM

When you're that good being "very samey" from recording to recording is not necessarily a sin.


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 06:09 AM

the nearest gigs she does to us is Bristol Colston Hall..
tickets way too pricy at that venue..
on top of problems with last public transport home

.. or cost of B&B for a night..


as much my mrs & me have like her voice and personality..
she just aint worth that kind of money to us..

ps.. we 'get' her CD's from local library..

and from what i've seen of her live on BBC4;
i agree that the guitarist in her band is the kind that overplays
and distracts with his inappropriate,uneccesarily over-'syncapated' style..


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: GUEST,DB
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 06:37 AM

Harpmolly,

I respect your views but I just happen to love the trad. tunes, that's all. Probably because I've been wrestling with them all these years and trying to do them justice in my own singing. Mind you, I'm not a professional singer, and have no desire to be, and have no need to sell CDs.
Nevertheless, you did mention Eliza Carthy and I have to say she is one of the few younger singers who has come along recently and astonished a jaded old purist like me. I can think of few singers who have got closer to the emotional core of English Trad. song. All this and Ms. Carthy is, as far as I know, a commercial success as well - you don't always have to compromise. I'm sorry but I don't think that Kate Rusby even comes close.


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 09:08 PM

ahhhh.. this explains why the overinflated ego of her irritating guitar player
inflicts as much discomfortout as a sore thrombosed haemorrhoid..


http://207.103.108.105/thread.cfm?threadid=85557&messages=17


" If you are Ian Carr, by the way, you can use ninths whenever you like. Or major sevenths.. Ordinary rules do not apply in that case. "


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Oct 05 - 11:52 AM

Well I like Kate's CD and I like Eliza's as well. They are both good at what they do at diffrent end of a broad spectrum.Equally as a Yorkshire Man who booked them both at our Folk Club years ago when they both where young I will fully support and comtinue to support everything they both do if you go to Eliza's Thread she is not getting a panning on the merits of her personality just the merits of her CD I am sure both KR and EC read this drivel but for gods sake support talent ambition and opertunity, behind them in Yorkshire there is a huge ammount of talent up & coming.


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 22 Oct 05 - 02:21 PM

"They were playing a recording of some woman or other - it was a bit bland and I wasn't taking a lot of notice. Suddenly I realised that the words were those of 'The Streams of Lovely Nancy' - but the tune wasn't - it was a 'make-up-a-moderately-pretty-but-rather-bland-and-forgettable-tune-in-the-bath' sort of tune. The singer was, of course, Kate Rusby! I'm baffled! The traditional tune to 'The Streams of Lovely Nancy' is one of the most beautiful in the canon - why replace it with one not so good?"

Sort of what I felt about her 'Dark-Eyed Sailor'. Keep wanting to like Rusby, but doesn't happen. haven't heard 'Live at Leeds', is it an improvement over the studio ones?


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: GUEST,Eric
Date: 22 Oct 05 - 03:13 PM

I saw Kate singing Jolly Ploughboys on the tv show of Cambridge Festival around 6 years ago and it got me back into listening to traditional folk. Since them I have all her cd's including things she did with the Poozies and Intuition and on the Sharpe album and I have seen her live 5 or 6 times but I find Eliza Carthy hard work. And Guess What!. It doesn't matter what I think. No-one has to like what I like.
To get back to what Harpmolly was asking - I find I hear the albums differently after a few plays or many but I tend to go back to the songs that hit me first time round and I agree with your assessment of Wandering Soul and Jack Frost but Airlie was a bit of a disappointment. She used to do it with electric piano when I first saw her and me and my daughter, who is another fan, have been waiting for it on cd since but we remember it with a bit more "life" to it.
Last point - can the quite guy who let's his brilliant and different guitar work do the talking on stage with Kate really be stirring up a fuss. As a poor guitarist I have to say I would love to have a small part of Ian Carr's talent.

Eric


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: harpmolly
Date: 22 Oct 05 - 11:50 PM

Eric--

I see what you mean about "Airlie",-- even though I love it, I would be disappointed if I had heard a livelier version before. I did have a small temper tantrum when I got "10" and realized that she'd re-recorded "The Recruited Collier" as a very Valium-drenched slow version, whereas her original (from the Rusby/Roberts album) is vibrant and interesting and one of my favorites. It's definitely true that she does tend to slow things down a bit.

DB--I do love the trad tunes :) As I said, some of her melodies work really well, some aren't so successful (in my view of course). And about Eliza Carthy, I was responding to someone else's comparison, actually...but I think she's terrific, and has done a lot to bring folk music into the present. Also as I mentioned earlier, :) I don't love Kate Rusby because I think she's better or worse than anyone else, particularly. I don't think she's the end-all and be-all of folk music or that anyone else should. All I can say is that there's something about her voice that speaks to me and has done so on every album I've heard her on, whether or not I absolutely loved the entire album.

Thanks for responding, everyone...I'm enjoying this discussion. *grin*

P.S. I love Ian Carr's guitar playing, and I think it's one of the things that I enjoy most about Kate's recordings. I love John McCusker's playing, too, though I think he's a pretentious git. I hate how he rolls his eyes onstage when Kate is babbling on between songs. But then, I do love her babbling. That accent just kills me *big grin*

Molly


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: GUEST,Regular 'catter who's name doesn't matter.
Date: 23 Oct 05 - 07:52 PM

Molly,

Most folks don't know what's good or bad. Most folks just know what they like or don't. Years ago a fellow came to me after a performance and criticized a song I'd written. I asked who he was and what he'd written. He hadn't written anything. I said, "Huh!" and walked away.

Rusby is a class act. She would be anywhere. I don't really like her stuff, but she is great. I don't think it would matter to Kate whether or not I liked her stuff. And it shouldn't. She sells CDs, and that makes many people jealous. Too bad for them.


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: GUEST,DB
Date: 24 Oct 05 - 08:49 AM

Dear GUEST, Regular 'catter etc.,

No art form can advance without criticism. I know plenty of people whose performances have benefited greatly through constructive criticism.
Years ago I remember doing a floor spot, at a club in Birmingham, and Charles Parker (producer of the 'Radio Ballads') took me to one side afterwards and gave me some tips on improving my performance. Far from being offended I was flattered and pleased. Not only that but Charles's insights were spot on and, after I had worked on the areas that he had mentioned, I really felt that I was a better and more confident singer.

As for Kate Rusby - well, her stuff is not really to my taste, and I have a perfect right to say so. Nevertheless, she is, as you point out, a successful commercial artist and good luck to her and her fans.


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: GUEST,My Name Doesn't Matter Either
Date: 24 Oct 05 - 09:31 AM

You're right DB, but a lot of the criticism on this thread is NON-constructive and falls into the 'bollocks' category. "She's overrrated", She's boring" or comparing her with Britney Spears aren't constructive criticisms of Kates performances, they're just opinions, expressions of personal taste, and they carry no more or less weight than yours and mine.

And saying Kate's not as good as this or that performer doesn't pass muster either - again that's an expression of personal taste, not constructive criticism. Who's got the monopoly on good taste? I'd say no-one has, taste's a personal thing.

Whatever the naysayers think, there are a great many people who enjoy Kate's music, and their opinions are perfectly valid.


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: Peace
Date: 24 Oct 05 - 02:30 PM

Constructive criticism is a good thing. I listen to people who play or write better than I do. Always. However, slagging Rusby is amateur crap. The gal--whether or not one 'likes' her--is a class act. She is doing very well.


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: greg stephens
Date: 24 Oct 05 - 02:36 PM

Nothing wrong with opinions and personal taste, that is all anyone has to offer on a topic like this. Signed posts do tend to be more easy to take than anonymous ones though, as is usual here whatever the topic.


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 24 Oct 05 - 05:40 PM

Well for perspectives sake . I went to Kates web site the other day and saw there was a new CD so on the way to the movies in Torrington Connecticut I stopped at a Stawberry's CD store and just asked if they had the new Kate Rusby CD. Yep right here . <><> So thats pretty main stream for sales .
                James Taylor once said something about his abilaty was in a certain area . I love what he dose so I dont mind that everything is of a "Type" I give the same answer when listening to Kate . I love what she dose and it is of a wonderful honest type .
                  It is not her job to be less english /celtic and slightly generic because what she dose comes from what I perseave as an honest place for her in her generation and thier perspective ( which is different then mine ) . I would love to hear her do an albun of clean english folk without so much "generic celtic " addition . Say in a Ry Cooder sort of production Less is more . Probably would have a very small audience but could be very powerful . I think her use of the collery band is a perfect sound that comes from her background.Briliiant ! The open layering of notes as anckored is something she is getting better and better at .
                  THis is a very very good CD . Because of its paice I do like to listen to it in sections . I am very thankful Kate Rusby is in the world making music .
                  I also think her husband John needs a nod for very tasty production .Its a lot of work being a team and this cd shows a lot of development by both of them !!!! All the best , Guy


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 25 Oct 05 - 06:43 AM

You're right Greg, but I can take unsigned 'Guest' posts that talk sense a lot better than signed ones that are full of the crap you mentioned!

She's a nice girl (even though she doesn't know me from Adam, she and John took time to chat to me, very sociably, in a Sheffield shopping mall a year or two ago), and her music makes me happy. Personally, if my own music makes just one person happy I'm satisfied, so by my standards the girl done good! :-)


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: GUEST,Kate Rusby
Date: 25 Oct 05 - 06:50 AM

Stop talking all this bollocks about me or I'll come round and kick your nuts in!
                     Flamenco, still the true path!


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 25 Oct 05 - 06:59 AM

Kate, that purple nail polish doesn't go with the colour of your eyes!
S:0)


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 25 Oct 05 - 08:28 AM

I'm using superglue and Boots clear top coat at the moment Johnny
                               Love
                               Kate


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 25 Oct 05 - 09:02 AM

Wooooo-Hoo! I preferred the blue glitter Katie-Me-Lass! LOL!
Big Hugs,
S:0)


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 25 Oct 05 - 07:34 PM

The more I hear it the more Im inpressed . Layering is the word . Just wonderful . The second cut is so clean and sparce . It dose make some of what I said above what was the word? Bollox ?? All the best , Guy


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: GUEST,jOhn
Date: 27 Oct 05 - 02:46 PM

Heloo,
I reckon shes good, but not as good as Elica Carthy.
[she can plating the fiddle as well.


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: GUEST,Guest - Roger
Date: 31 Oct 05 - 12:07 PM

I don't get what the fuss is about. The new album is very good, perhaps not her best but still very good. KR is a class act and may not be as good as Nic Jones etc or even be able to out-drive Senna in a comparable car! Such arguments are specious and will never be resolved.

If you don't like it don't buy it. If you don't want to see her live don't go. I've seen her twice this tour and although each gig was similar it was still worth it in my eyes - heard no grumbles at either.

She may have sold 40k in one week but I suspect her sales don't sustain like a pop act's do. Also her sales are through mail-order or many fringe shops so not as many of her sales will figure in the charts survey as would, say, Blue.

Whatever she makes she's earnt it and no-one can deny it's thoroughly deserved.

R

PS What is it with this 'Celtic' thing? Yanks (Septics) get upset when I think they're all Canadian :)

Kate's as Celtic as 'Dirty Old Town'!!


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: harpmolly
Date: 31 Oct 05 - 02:50 PM

Roger--

Believe me, I'd be thrilled if I were abroad and someone mistook me for a Canadian. ;) At the moment, anyway.

Guy Wolff--Yes! "The Lark" is really lovely. IMHO of course. I can see what you mean about the Celtic influence creeping in, but hey, that seems to be what inspires her--a mixture of English folk and other influences. She's still indubitably a Yorkshire lass at heart.

*giggle* Again, I leave for five minutes and all hell breaks loose...
M


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: GUEST,Lea
Date: 01 Nov 05 - 12:41 PM

Hi there,
I've been a big fan of Rusby from the start (seen her first with the Poozies many years ago). Still can remember how touching her "Neptune" was that evening...
I own every record of hers and made sure I got hold of "the Girl who couldn't fly" during the first week.
Being a musician myself I have quite a few things to say.
I find that the album takes a step further in the direction where she went with "Underneath the stars" regarding the arrangements. Her earlier albums had quite a few instrumentals between verses and featured the abilities of the "boys" (John Mc Cusker, Mike Mc Goldrick, Andy Cutting) more than the last two albums do.
For her it might be a good thing to do, because the focus is now all on her vocals and nothing distracts you from listening to the lyrics. But as a listener, I liked the instrumental parts and could do with more of it on the new tracks as well.
The other thing is, that I think her singing has -again- improved a a lot. I had a listen through "Hourglass" and "Sleepless" to compare sound and voice, and it's really a lot better. Both the singing and the recording quality.
So it is ok to have a focus on the vocals, cause they're good. But I am a bit disappointed of some of her self-penned lyrics. Moon Shadow for example - well I like songs that really tell a story or paint a picture of a certain mood and haunt me that way. But much as I lilted along the chorus of the song, I don't think Moon Shadow is as good as "Who will sing me lullabies" or "My young Man" - that was excellent work IMHO.
I like the brass and the strings on the album.
My favourites (musically) are
"Game of all fours", "Bonnie House of Airlie", "Wandering Soul" and "Jack Frost" the latter being the highlight of this recording for me :-). I like the singing on "The Lark" but I think it is not a strong composition and arrangement.
I think so far my favourite Rusby album is Little Lights, topped only by the live tracks on "10" and -of course- the DVD which brings out the best in this kind of music. Folk music is live music, and this woman and her band really do very well playing live. Groove, timing, intonation, phrasing - everything is outstanding on this DVD, it's really one of the top bands these days with first class musicians. And I include Mr Ian Carr into that. Of course I do. Imagine the Rusby albums and arrangements without his playing!!!!

So much for now.
(Molly, I think that's the kind of discussion you wanted, isn't it?)


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: GUEST,Tam Gatyhers,Glasgow.
Date: 01 Nov 05 - 05:36 PM

Have the C.D. listened to it two times, not very good, sorry.


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: harpmolly
Date: 01 Nov 05 - 10:33 PM

Thanks Lea, that's exactly what I had in mind. :)

Looks like we have similar tastes. I agree that "the Lark" isn't on a par with "My Young Man" which I still can't listen to without getting teary. But (as I keep foolishly repeating) that damn line--"Is it wrong to wish you still need me?" just gets me in the gut.

I also agree with the singing improvement. My iPod (yes, I've fallen prey to the lure ;)) is filled with about 75% Rusby, and it's always odd when I hear a more modern song and then suddenly something from "Hourglass"--the difference is almost shocking. I think she's really opened up her higher range--she's much more mezzo-soprano on her first few albums. Of course, not everyone will approve of that *grin* but as an official Soprano-From-Hell myself (goes with the territory of being 4/8"), I can't help but approve. ;)

And yes, "Neptune" rocks!

Molly


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: harpmolly
Date: 01 Nov 05 - 10:35 PM

Er, that was supposed to read 4'8". As in four feet eight inches. Dumb fingers...

M


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: Cyparissa
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 06:28 AM

Hm, I'm going to have to disagree with you guys. I think "The Lark" is one of my favorite tracks on the CD. Sure, the tune isn't particularly inspired, but (in my humble opinion) none of her tunes really are. It still doesn't keep me from enjoying the song, though. "Elfin Knight" was my other favorite song on the album, and that one actually was because of the tune- I thought it had the best melody and rhythm of all the songs on the CD. The rest of the songs I found rather blah, though I only have heard the CD through once. Maybe more will grow on me if I keep listening to them over and over. One thing I quite liked about the new album was the lack of instrumental tracks. I know you won't agree, Lea, but I'm just an old fashioned lyric lover. If a track doesn't have good lyrics, it's going to have a very hard time capturing my attention.

As for Kate Rusby herself, I think she's quite good. I'm going to her concert when she comes to Durham later this month, and I'm really looking forward to seeing her live. That said, I also have to agree that there are many better folk artists out there. Kate's songs are good and fun to listen to occassionally, but they just don't have the bite that a good song by Jean Ritchie has, for instance. I love weepy ballads as much (or, more likely, more) than the next girl, but I just think that there are others out there that do them better than Kate Rusby. Of course, that's just my opinion- Kate just isn't /quite/ my cup of tea.


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: GUEST,Lea
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 04:07 PM

Hi Molly and all others,

yes that 'damn line' is quite good ;-) I admit it.
As for the mezzo soprano - I think she's still more 'alto', but it's hard to judge as she sings most songs in a range of 1 1/2 octaves, so you don't really hear where the voice begins and ends. But I have the feeling that the end note on "me" in "The Lark" is about the lowest note that she can sing easily. A real alto should maybe get some lower ones...

And Cyparissa: well I think that the Elfin Knight is one of the tracks on the album that actually have a strong instrumental part - and one of the weakest, lyrically speaking. I mean, come on, that's really lalala ;-)
I didn't speak of instrumental tracks like tunes or something, only of the instrumental parts and bits in the songs. For me something like that doesn't draw my attention away from the lyrics, it's a welcome break in between intense listening and can (when played as inspired as from "the boys") only add to the listening pleasure.

I listened to it again yesterday and can only repeat myself that I absolutely love "Jack Frost". That's really pure and lovely and although I have no idea of the film, I have my own little images in my head from the song... And the language (the trees "upped"), that's nice...
Maybe she should do a record for kids with newly written and traditional songs. I'm sure I'd like it.

Best
Lea


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: harpmolly
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 05:15 PM

What a great idea! :)

I hope "The Tale of Jack Frost" or what's-it-called becomes available in the States at some point. Maybe PBS will show it. I really adored that song, too, and a whole album of kids' songs from Kate would be great! I think her style would translate to that well (vis-a-vis the "hidden track" on Little Lights after "My Young Man", with her little cousin (?) singing along and everyone cracking up. )

Good point, she is probably more alto. Just hearing what I want to hear *grin*

And I have to say, sadly, that I wasn't really that excited about "Elfin Knight". Maybe it's because when I saw the track name I thought it would be some really nifty "Tam Lin"-type ballad, and the song itself just doesn't have that much to it. But that's my own prejudices and expectations. I guess we need all the upbeat numbers we can get on any given KR album ;)

P.S. I do enjoy "Game of All Fours", though it must be confessed that after hearing it was supposed to be a double entendre song, I got a VERY naughty mental picture based on the title. Bad, bad Molly. The nuns would be so ashamed ;)

M


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: Cyparissa
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 05:34 PM

Alright, I'll agree with y'all that "Elfin Knight" doesn't have the most brilliant lyrics in the world. Like Lea said though, the instrumentals in it were quite good. My vote is still with "The Lark" as my favorite lyric-wise, and "Elfin Knight" as my favorite instrumental-wise.

I only heard part of "Jack Frost" when I listened to the CD- it's my sister's, so I didn't really get to keep it for long. I'm wanting to hear it again now...I'll have to bribe my sister or something.


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: GUEST,Arbuthnot
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 10:46 PM

I think Kate Rusby is a polished professional. She's been a hothouse flower of the folk scene since she was 17, you can guarantee that she is not going to make a mess of anything she does, and she's never needed a proper job. She knows what works and she's safe as milk. Lovely voice. But ask me to go onstage after her and I would not be worried. Follow Nic Jones ... that's hard work. I have done it once and I wouldn't like to do it again - but I wish I could.


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: GUEST,Lea
Date: 03 Nov 05 - 09:45 AM

It's her nephew on "The big ship sails on the Ally-Ally-O" - the bigger one of the two cute boys who do the introduction on "Live at Leeds".

The same problem for me with "Elfin Knight", you just want to hear one of these otherworld-love-and-murder stories :))

Well, Arbuthnot, I earn my money playing folk music since 10 years now, I never had what you call a proper job -
and I still would prefer not to play after a KR show.
Even if for a musician's ear some things are quite simple and redundant, the audience responds to her personality as much as to the music... Not that any of us will be asked to do this anyway :) You have to be Altan, they did it I think... And I'm not worried about their success because it is very different, all the rousing jigs & reels.


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Subject: RE: Review: Kate Rusby, Girl Who Couldn't Fly
From: harpmolly
Date: 03 Nov 05 - 11:18 PM

I couldn't resist firing off an email to Pure Records to pass on the children's album idea on behalf of the 'Catters here :). Got a brief but warm email back from Steve Rusby saying he'd pass it on to Kate and that he agreed it was a good idea. Could be the start of something wonderful...

I have to admit I wrote the email halfway hoping for a response *grin*. I do love how "mom 'n' pop" their operation still is at heart. When "Little Lights" came out, I couldn't wait for it to be available stateside and ordered it directly from Kate's website. When it came, the printing on the CD itself wasn't color-fast and started bleeding on things, so I emailed them just to let them know (I didn't ask for a replacement, as the color could easily be removed with a cotton swab and I still wanted the CD! :)) Steve wrote back personally (and again, quite warmly) and said they'd had a bad batch, and INSISTED (despite my protests) on sending me another CD, no return required. Even though I know this is probably SOP and should be expected of any reputable business, I was still quite impressed and tickled. Warm fuzzies all around.

Questions of personal musical taste aside, I still maintain that Kate et al. are a true class act, and that's why I'll continue to place her at the top of my list of favorites.

Molly :)


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