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The Girl Who Couldn't Fly - Kate Rusby

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2 Reviews

Genre: Folk - English Folk / Artist: Kate Rusby / Audio CD released 2007-11-05 at Pure

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    2 Reviews
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      20.01.2008 20:58

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      If you like acoustic guitar, this is for you.

      I first heard Kate Rushby at Sidmouth Folk festival 50th aniversery, and her soft vocals and acoustic guitar is perfect for relaxing to. This album is at the moment constantly played in my car, so i am word perfect on most songs. They are mostly traditional English folk songs, or songs on a similar theme written by Kate herself, and the perfect introduction to acoustic folk music. One of my favorite songs on the album is Mary Blaise, which is a nonsence poem that Kate found and put music to. It is the most upbeat song on the album, and is still quite slow, this is not an album for dancing to. The songs are all beautifull, and have wonderfull simple storylines, like the boy and the girl who meat on a road and play a game of cards. The girl wins, and tells him to come back tomorow and play cards again. A sort of informal courting, set to wonderfull music by a brilliant artist.

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      19.12.2007 18:58
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      A beautifully crafted album, once again showcasing Kate Rusby's bell-clear voice.

      Few and far between have emerging stars on the british folk scene come along. Not in the last 10 years anyway, with perhaps, the exception of Kate Rusby. Since 1999 she has steadily been producing some of the best traditional and original folk available. Her quick wit and talent in song writing have been counted among her many assets, and the addition of her 2005 album 'The Girl Who Couldn't Fly' was one of the best albums of the year, as far as I was concerned.

      For those who are not familiar with the genre of British modern folk, Kate Rusby is probably a good place to start, her material is nearly always acoustic, providing a soft platform for her voice to launch from, and it is her voice that is the jewel in her crown, as it well should be.


      1. Game of All Fours
      Traditional arr. K. Rusby/J. McCusker
      Many are the traditional folk songs that begin.. "as I was a-walkin" Game of all fours is no exception, sung from the point of view of a young man taking his daily stroll who happens along a pretty and fairly brazen young lady who challenges him to a game of cards.
      This is a nice start to the album, upbeat and bouncy, unlike a fair few of kates songs, it travels along at a fair pace, mimicking the pace of cheerful footsteps, with a traditional feel and not much variation in the melody, but then you don't listen to traditional folk for originality

      2. The Lark
      Words and music K. Rusby
      Kate explained once that following a gig she was approached by a man who asked her why she sang so many songs about the sea. This being an island and Kate being a folk singer the answer seems fairly logical since a lot of our traditional folk songs are fishing or sailing shantys or tales of lost love out to sea.
      Kate took the question to mean she sang too many about the coast and so took to writing a song set in a field. Thus was born 'the lark'
      It is songs like these that really showcase Kate's talents, both as a singer and as a songwriter. The haunting, clear melody is strikingly beautiful, with little embellishment. It is a rare kind of song, that you have to stop and listen to.

      3. No Names
      Words and music K. Rusby
      Stepping slightly away from traditional folk, this second original by Kate is a duet, sung in partnership with Idlewild's Roddy Womble, who's rich and almost sad voice is a perfect accompaniment to Kate's in this refective song.

      4. Mary Blaize
      Words traditional, music K. Rusby
      Kate has admitted to being a fan of nonsense rhymes and Mary Blaize was a rhyme she found in a book of them, dug out of a second-hand bookshop.
      Bouncy and fun, with a rousing traditional accompaniment Kate sounds like she is having fun, indeed, I was lucky enough to catch the band doing this live recently and they fairly fell about laughing when it came to the end.

      5. A Ballad
      Words traditional, music K. Rusby
      No folk album is really complete without a tale of promised love going astray, and A Ballad is no exception to this album.
      Following all the fast pace of the previous song is this beautiful love song, Kate singing the lament of a girl on her wedding morning, he love gone to marry another. Sometimes I wonder at the gullibility of old English maids.

      6. You Belong To Me
      Words and music Pee Wee King, Redd Stewart and Chilton Price.
      Kate rarely attempts a cover of a contemporary artist, but this slow and moving request by a lover being left behind is a very relevant issue nowadays, with so many off travelling the world. I haven't heard the original, so, I'm unable to compare. I am content with this version however, since it is very pleasant to listen to, and I often find myself singing along.

      7. Elfin Knight
      Words and music K. Rusby
      The Elfin Knight is one of the kind of folk songs that people like to sing along to in pubs, not that you could imagine anyone singing over Kate, but it's a great song anyway. Good instrumentals showing off the talents of the rest of the band, and its even better live!

      8. Bonny House of Airlie
      Traditional arr. K. Rusby/J. McCusker
      The sad tale of the fall of the house of Airlie following an attack by the lord Argyll, I am not too fond of this song as it tends to drag a little, like many Scottish songs it is political and tends to drone, but it has a rousing last chorus, and when you get down to it, very moving lyrics.

      9. Moon Shadow
      Words and music K. Rusby
      Not one of my favourite songs on the album, I would barely class it above 'filler' but oddly, I find myself humming it without thinking. Another original by Kate, it is slow and ponderous, but beautifully arranged.

      10. Wandering Soul
      Words and music K. Rusby
      Another song I would count as filler, although, it has a very lovely introduction, and could be sung by a choir very prettily. The lyrics tend to get a little bit lost. I have never been entirely sure of its message.

      11. Fare Thee Well
      Words and music K. Rusby
      A lovely vehicle for Kate's voice, her Yorkshire accent comes out really strongly in this song. Another one you can really get stuck into singing along with, and marks another contribution by Roddy Womble.

      12. Bonus Track: Little Jack Frost
      Words and music K. Rusby
      Title track of the Children's animated version of the book by David Melling, it was produced by the BBC in 2005.
      This is one of my favourite songs on the album, the imagery is beautiful, and plays out like a bedtime story or lullaby. It is a good solid finish to the album, which would have finished quite well on the last track, but you really get a treat with Little Jack Frost.

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    • Product Details

      Disc #1 Tracklisting
      1 Game of All Fours
      2 The Lark
      3 No Names
      4 Mary Blaize
      5 A Ballad
      6 You Belong To Me
      7 Elfin Knight
      8 Bonny House of Airlie
      9 Moon Shadow
      10 Wandering Soul
      11 Fare Thee Well
      12 Bonus Track: Little Jack Frost