Kate Rusby at Cambridge Folk Festival 2005
I first heard of Kate Rusby on the Mike Harding Show on BBC Radio 2, Wednesday nights at 8.00.Mike used to refer to her as 'The Barnsley Nightingale' or 'The Dame Nelly Melba of Barnsley'.I was immediately impressed with her fabulous voice.I think Kate has the best voice in English folk music since the great Sandy Denny.I bought her album 'Sleepless' which i loved.Listen to it if you get the chance.It contains a great version of Iris Dement's 'Our Town' and great interpretations of traditional songs such as 'The Wild Goose'and 'The Unquiet Grave'.
I first saw Kate at Glastonbury 2000.We had watched the great Willie Nelson on the Pyramid Stage then rushed to the acoustic stage to catch Kate.She was great and had a brilliant band which included John McCusker,her boyfriend and a great musician in his own right.That was an amazing day of music which ended with seeing David Bowie.
A year went by until one day i saw that Kate was appearing at a venue near us, The Cheese And Grain in Frome.One fine summers evening we got a taxi over to Frome.Little did i realise how that evening would end.It was a really nice concert with a friendly intimate atmosphere, Kate telling lots of amusing stories in between the songs.as well as a great singer she is a bit of a comedienne.After the concert we were browsing at the merchandise stall and they were giving away free posters so i picked one up.Just as our taxi arrived who should come walking across the hall but Kate.
"Ask the taxi man to wait and i'll just get Kate to sign my poster", i said to Kim.
I walked quickly across the floor towards Kate but what i didn't notice was that some asshole had left a plastic pint glass on the floor and i kicked about half a pint of beer over my favourite young female traditional English folksinger! I was mortified, i wished the ground would open up and swallow me.Kate didn't seem to care though and happily signed my poster and even drew a little doodle on it for me.We had a little chat and i asked her how she enjoyed Glastonbury and she said that she didn't enjoy the huge crowds and the traffic jams.
Anyway thats my story of the night i met the Barnsley Nightingale.Kate has a new album out now 'The Girl Who Couldn't Fly' which i am going to buy this afternoon .