Splash FM Website of the Day, 1st August 2005. Be Impressed.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Kate Rusby – Bold Riley.

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I’m surprised I managed to last this long without indulging my passion for English folk music and posting some ‘finger-in-the-ear’ music (opposed to the ‘fingers-in-both-ears’ music I post most weeks). It has been a long held dream of mine to play banjo with Eliza Carthy and fiddle with Kate Rusby.

Although Rusby’s 1997 album Hourglass, from which today’s track comes, was her debut she had already had already established herself on the folk scene. Along with Kathryn Roberts, she was part of folk’s answer to Destiny’s Child (not that anyone had asked the question). She was also a member of folk supergroup Equation whose members have included recent Mercury Prize nominee Seth Lakeman and Irish nymph Cara Dillon (there’s a Rock Family Tree to be made of that band).

However, Rusby left Equation after the band were approached by a major label who wanted them to move in a more commercial direction. She decided to go solo, set up her own record label and make an album with her, musical and life, partner John McCusker and a bevy of talented, young folk musicians.

Bold Riley is a traditional sea shanty. It is, to get a bit geeky about it, a Halyard Shanty and was used when sailors raised and lowered the sails – pulling on the chorus and resting on the verse. Rusby turns it from a gruff work-song into a melancholy ballad with accordion accompaniment (c/o Andy Cutting) – a trick she repeated on her follow-up album Sleepless with the track The Wildgoose.

It was with Sleepless that Rusby began to be noticed outside the folk scene and was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize – shamefully losing out to Talvin Singh’s aptly named OK.

Kate Rusby – Bold Riley

Buy Kate Rusby mp3s

View My half hearted, less than comprehensive attempt at an Equation family tree

In case you were wondering, White Stocking Day was a sailors payday. Once back in port the sailors female relatives would dress in their finery (including white stockings) and collect the money.


At 1:32 AM, Blogger Tom Kerswill said...

Good to read all that! What do you think of her latest album? It sounds rather nice...

At 12:05 PM, Blogger Woodshed said...

Hi Tom. 'Nice' is good way of describing it. I preferred it when she was singing about people drowning, getting battered over the head and the like.

I've just listen to a couple of the tracks on your website - top stuff.

At 12:02 AM, Blogger Tom Kerswill said...

Hey, thanks a lot!

Yeah... I actually had a chance to listen to her new album and it wasn't really ground breaking :-)

"part of folk’s answer to Destiny’s Child "
Wow.. never looked at it that way before ;-)


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