Review: Kate Rusby LIFE IN A PAPER BOAT

Kate Rusby
Pure records
4.5 stars
Another gem from the award winning Yorkshire folkie
Soon to be celebrating 25 years in the folk business, Kate Rusby albums never fail to impress and LIFE IN A PAPER BOAT is up there with the best. Kate’s fragile but hauntingly beautiful vocals are perfectly suited to the mix of self-penned and traditional numbers. Producer husband Damien O’Kane has done a sterling job and there is nothing approaching a sub-standard track on the album. Rusby has surrounded herself with some of the best supporting musicians from the folk world with Dan Tyminski and Ron Block from Alison Krauss’ Union Station guesting on a couple of tracks. Her song writing is as innovative as ever and I really loved the imaginative lyrics on ‘Hunter Moon’ and the two songs with a seafaring theme, ‘The Mermaid’ and of course, the title track. Just one cover, Archie Fisher’s The Witch of Westmorland; a great tale of a witch with amazing healing powers. One bonus track is included; the catchy Big Brave Bill, a ‘Superman’ like character from Barnsley who comes to the rescue on numerous occasions and derives his strength from drinking Yorkshire Tea! The album runs for almost an hour but the quality fare on offer ensures the listener’s attention is never distracted. The beauty of this album is that it should appeal to a diverse audience rather than a strictly folk oriented clientele. John Roffey

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