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KATE RUSBY - Make The Light

KATE RUSBY - Make The Light
Pure Records PRCD32

For those of you hoping that KR would someday produce an album of exclusively self-penned songs, your wait is over. Apparently suggested by Jennifer Saunders, this collection ticks all my boxes and then some.  I love her interpretations of traditional material in particular, and was pleasantly surprised by these 11 songs – all carefully crafted and pitched perfectly. Always someone who ploughs her own furrow, confident that she knew that being true to her own tenets would reap its own dividends; she has finally come of age here and demonstrated why she can feel vindicated in her stance against the major labels that have tried to poach her.

Here she is surrounded by the tightest of bands, with particular brownie points for her partner Damien O’Kane, on guitars (tenor, electric and regular), tenor banjo and vocals. Without any doubt his contributions have been sympathetic to the material, and it’s clear that the new arrival to the family, Daisy, last summer, has a) encouraged the songwriting, and b) given an extra two pennyworth to the arrangements. Kate’s brother Joe, who co-produces this with her, also deserves a special mention, as this entire project has been lovingly crafted and steered in definitely the right direction. We even have a protest song, of sorts – Let Them Fly, a barely disguised joust at a politician (you know who you are). Anybody who can write “Pride comes before a tumble, Let her life go on and crumble” has an innate poetry that the rest of us can only aspire to!

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 88 of The Living Tradition magazine.