25 years of Kate Rusby’s emotive vocals

Published: Friday 1st December 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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Multi-award winning folk artist Kate Rusby is performing her enchanting Christmas show at Hull City Hall tomorrow evening.

After working for almost a quarter of a century in the industry, Kate is now one of the most celebrated traditional folk interpreters of our time.

Born in Penistone, Barnsley, she is often affectionately called the Barnsley Nightingale, attracting crowds of folk fans at several British festivals and gigs. When she was just 26, Kate was named as one of the top 10 folk voices of the century, and she’s definitely continued to fly this flag throughout the twenty-first century.

With an incredible talent for blending old and new musical elements, Kate combines her emotive vocals and engaging personality to keep up a longstanding South Yorkshire festive tradition in this magical Christmas performance. This is a custom that she has been honouring with her family and friends since she was a little girl.

“I am lucky enough to be from South Yorkshire, where we have a fascinating treasure trove of old Christmas songs rooted in the soil of our hills,” Kate enthuses. “They have been handed down from one generation to the next. I have been brought up with these songs and it brings me great delight to share them.”

For over two centuries, the run-up to Christmas for those from South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire involves heading down to the pub on a Sunday lunchtime to sing their own versions of classic carols and Yuletide songs. During the nineteenth century, these songs were, as Kate puts it, “kicked out of the churches for being too happy”.

The show is the perfect way to ease into the joyous season, as familiar melodies set a brilliant backdrop for Kate’s sparkling personality and witty humour.

At the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, she was crowned Folk Singer of the Year and Best Live Act, as well as bagging Best Album and Best Original Song.

Kate will be joined by her fabulous brass quintet. This year, the talented line-up includes Damien O’Kane on guitar, tenor guitar and banjo, Aaron Jones on bouzouki, Nick Cooke on diatonic accordion, Duncan Lyall on double bass, and Josh Clark on percussion.

Meanwhile, audiences can hear for the first time live tracks from Kate’s most recent album, Angels and Men. Fans will also be able to indulge in some of her extensive back catalogue.

“I absolutely adore Christmas. It’s always an incredibly happy, sparkly, musical time of the year in the Rusby household,” Kate adds.

Angels and Men is a mixture of songs old and new, some you may recognise, others you may not. It’s the first festive album to be produced by my husband Damien O’Kane and because of that it has a very different feel; an iridescent twinkle, a brighter palette of sound and a musical depth that surrounds and hugs you like a cosy log fire.”

The beautiful voice of Kate Rusby can be heard at Hull City Hall on Saturday 2 December. Tickets start at £25 and are available via the Hull Theatres website.

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Published: Friday 1st December 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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