Kate Rusby’s forthcoming new album, Hand Me Down, started life a few years ago whilst she was rehearsing for the Jo Whiley Show on BBC Radio 2. Jo asks her live music guests to perform songs of their own plus any cover version of their choice.
Kate may be known as a folk singer but likes all kinds of music and on her first session with Jo covered ‘Don’t Go Away’ by Oasis, (which subsequently appeared on her last album Philosophers, Poets and Kings). On the second visit to the show she chose ‘Friday I’m In Love’ by The Cure, which will make an appearance on Hand Me Down.
Rusby says, “As a folk singer, it’s what I do, re-interpret existing songs, but usually the songs are much, much older. After playing a version of Oasis’ ‘Don’t Go Away’ on the BBC Radio 2 Jo Whiley show, about 5 years ago, it dawned on me that not just the very old songs are handed down through the generations, but also favourite songs of any age, of any generation. Songs are precious for many different reasons. With ‘Don’t Go Away’ proving so popular on the last album and hearing the reaction when we performed it on tour, I decided, “Right, that’s it! I am doing a whole album of covers.”
“There are so many songs from my original Jo Whiley list that I adore and it brings me so much joy to create our own versions of them. They all have a homemade feel, which is how a ‘lock down’ album should sound I suppose, we could only use what we had to hand (it just so happens I have a very talented multi-instrumentalist husband, yey!) so bar the odd part from a band member recorded remotely, it’s all myself and Damien O’Kane, but that was actually our plan all along. What we hadn’t planned on, was our two daughters – Daisy Delia aged 10 and Phoebe Summer aged 8 – having to come to the studio with us! Recording and home schooling are working out surprisingly well. We hope the songs will bring some smiles in these dark times.”
There is no more perfect a time for an album like this, “Just forget the world for a moment and let the music in.” Kate says, “Music is such a powerful potion, it can’t heal the world but it can heal the heart, even for a fleeting moment.”
Of all the stars in folk music’s wondrous firmament, few shine as brightly as Yorkshire’s Kate Rusby, prompting the Sunday Times to comment “Everybody loves and respects Kate Rusby, not just for her lovely voice, but for the way she has moved folk forward while remaining true to tradition”. A remarkable interpretive singer, Kate’s soulful vocals resonate with wistful beauty. Inhabiting a lyric with unforced conviction – no matter how old or how modern – she has that rare ability to transport listeners, touching them emotionally and making each tune live vividly within their experience and imagination.
The first two singles from Hand Me Down are available now: ‘Manic Monday’ (a song written by Prince and a hit for The Bangles in 1986) featuring Kate’s daughters (her Bangles) and ‘Friday I’m In Love’ (The Cure). Further track to follow and the album Hand Me Down is set for release by Pure Records digitally and on CD on 14 August 2020 (PRCD64). Vinyl to follow in November. Full track listing to be revealed!
Artist’s website: www.katerusby.com
‘Manic Monday’ – official video: