Canal Street Online Manchester

We chatted to Folk legend Kate Rusby

We chatted to Folk legend Kate Rusby

Kate Rusby Email Interview – 25.4.17

How are you feeling about the upcoming tour?

I absolutely can’t wait! We have been touring Christmas songs, last December, and we are currently recording a new Christmas album, so I can’t wait to leave Christmas behind for a little while and get back to the songs from “Life In A Paper Boat”! Not only that, but this year I am celebrating 25 years on the road, so there will be a few golden oldies thrown in there for good measure too. I feel much fun will be had this year!!

What should we expect from the shows?

Ooh a little bit of everything, even the kitchen sink! Like I say it’s the 25th year this year, so there will be lots of old songs, lots of songs from “Life in a Paper Boat”, lots of laughs and stories, and perhaps a little trampoline show in the interval!! Ha ha. 

With fourteen solo albums in the bag, how do you feel your music has changed (or stayed the same!) over the years?

One thing that hasn’t changed is my passion for traditional songs, so that is still at the core of everything I do. The last album (Life In A Paper Boat) especially though, has a different feel, it’s been evolving over the last three I think. My husband, multi-instrumentalist Damien O’Kane, has had more time in the producer’s seat for the albums so the sound has been shifting slightly. The last album has been the most experimental so far, Damien has been trying all sorts of effects out and delays etc. It’s as if the sonic boundary has been expanded, so there is more space in which the songs can thrive. I really love how his vision for the songs sits alongside my own. 

What inspires your creative process for creating new content and music? 

I have learnt so many songs from my parents over the years, and their stock hasn’t been exhausted yet so I still pick up a few from them. Also I have a huge collection of old ballad books, some way over 100 years old! I find songs and stories in those too, songs that have been lying dormant for years, some have no tunes, so I love to bring them out of the books and give them a tune, tweak them here and there and they are brought back to life, it’s just like renovating an old house, I love it. Also there are songs I write from scratch, these can be inspired by friends, stories, news, anything really. Trying to fit creative time around kids is the tricky bit!

Which artists inspire your music and is there anyone that you're particularly excited about at the moment?

Growing up I would listen constantly to Nic Jones, Paul Brady and Andy Irvine, Dolores Keane, Dave Burland, people who were playing at festivals around that time. But in the last few years, Damien O’Kane has been a huge influence on me, he’s one of the best male singers I have ever heard! There is a fella called Sam Kelly who I think is great, but I listen to everything and anything, (yes even Disney Princess songs!!!), we have a wall full of cds, music is just omnipresent in our house. 

Folk music has encountered a bit of a revival and crossover to mainstream as of late- how's this been for you, with so much insider experience?

When I first started out all those years ago there was only a handful of younger people playing this music, the scene was mainly made up of people our parent’s age, who were part of the folk revival in the 60s. The influx of younger people playing it then brought young people into the audience, some of those went on to play, which in turn brought more younger people in the audiences. It all just rolled on like that. Now you go to a festival, and there are people from all walks of life, all ages, it is such an inclusive, accepting scene so everything goes really. The folk scene is thriving just now, it makes me so happy to see the diversity and creativity around, it can only be a good thing for music in general.

By Kate Keating for Canal St Online.

Kate Rusby  is coming to Stockport, The Plaza

Fri 12th May 7.30pm

Box Office: 0161 477 7779

Book now via link below.

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