Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop
Folk music seems simple, and many pretenders pull into town with little more than a presentable voice and a handful of beginner guitar chords. Much more infrequently, performers come along with basically the same constitue... more »
Folk music seems simple, and many pretenders pull into town with little more than a presentable voice and a handful of beginner guitar chords. Much more infrequently, performers come along with basically the same constituent parts but through the sheer force of their artistry and integrity are able to use these simple elements to communicate whole lifetimes of experience. Such a performer is youthful Kate Rusby, who sings with the focus and depth one usually associates with the graceful compensations of age. Her crystal-clear voice (reminiscent in turns of Linda Thompson and Sandy Denny) rings out from the first cut. Rusby's assured delivery is dappled with small, unmasked idiosyncrasies that add emotional immediacy. Meanwhile, the all-acoustic presentation is inventive but never slick or overwhelming. Hourglass announces an important new light in the traditional British folk scene. --Anthony Bonet
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A Fine Achievement
Michael J. Shogi | Reminderville, Ohio USA | 11/24/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"British folkie Kate Rusby has created a fine disc, bucking all of the problems that plague so many modern folk artists.
Actually, there is little that is modern about Hourglass. Most of the songs from this disc are from Medieval England, and they are performed exceptionally well, with feeling and grace.
Standouts include the traditional Annan Waters (listen to the way the piano is introduced about 30 secondes into this one) and Kate's own A Rose in April (if this doesn't bring tears to your eyes, then the following song, Radio Sweethearts (a beautiful, beautiful number about what can only be described as a true love relationship), certainly will.)
Listen to the pristine, undoctored beauty of Kate's voice. I simply have never heard an instrument of such beauty and purity. The sadness in Kate's voice is also readily apparent (and appropriate for most of the songs). I once read a reviewer's comment that Kate's voice is not unlike June Tabor's. When I first listended to Kate, I thought nothing could be further from the truth. But I now agree with the reviewer. Kate's voice, per se, sounds nothing like June's. However, her emotion, her sadness, and her phrasing are very similar. June and Kate are the two greatest folk singers in the world, maybe of all time.
Listen to Hourglass. It is timeless, and it is true art.
-- Michael J. Shogi"
Best I've heard in Decades
John Burrill | Brisbane, Australia | 01/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I live in Australia but first heard Kate when visiting England. I bought hourglass after hearing one song and this album has become my number one alltime favourite. The first six or seven times I listened to Hourglass I could not stop the tears, the songs were just so full of emotion and simply touched something inside. "Annan Waters" particularly evokes feelings that go way beyond the words and the music, it will bring tears to your eyes. "Jolly Ploughboys" will make you laugh. Listen to "Bold Riley", a sea shanty, and you can almost smell the salt. "I am Stretched on your Grave" will make you cry with anger at the injustice of olde worlde England. Many of my friends have never listened to folk music before but everyone of them has been touched by this CD. My 15 year old son is into heavy metal and Rap music but Kate Rusby has touched him too. He will often put "Hourglass" on instead of his usual choices. Kate is not very well known here in Australia yet, but I think it is only a matter of time and exposure. How can such a huge talent fail to become world famous."
God's Gift to Folk Music? Absolutely!
Michael J. Shogi | 09/08/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It has been years since I've been so moved by a piece of music in any genre (maybe not since I first heard Vivaldi's Adagio for Strings as background music to the film GALLIPOLI). Rusby's voice has that same ability to grab your heart at its core and hang onto it. The sound itself goes beyond intellect, reaching deep into your heart and soul; yet once you stop to focus on the lyrics, you'll be astonished all over again. "Annan Waters," "A Rose in May," and "I Am Stretched Out on Your Grave" have been playing over and over in my head when I'm away from my CD player. The subtle arrangements on this album meet perfection, enhancing the songs, the lyrics, and the artist's unique vocalizations. (A previous viewer couldn't be more right about the way the piano enters "Annan Waters.") Rusby's songwriting talent is equally awesome. If you aren't well-versed in traditional songs, you'll find it impossible to tell them from her newly penned gems. I first heard Rusby in an interview on NPR while driving home. (Unfortunately, this was at the end of her short US tour--please come back soon, Kate!). She was promoting her new album, LITTLE LIGHTS. With no hesitation, I turned off the highway and stopped at the mall to pick it. Since then, I've been tracking down everything Rusby has recorded, including Poozies and Battlefield Band CDs. LITTLE LIGHTS is a bit more polished than HOURGLASS; frankly, I prefer the latter for its rare combination of rawness and fragility. Kate Rusby is an incredible, unexpected talent. (Dare I say God's gift to folk music?) This HOURGLASS is one you'll keep turning over and over--you won't want it to run down."