South Yorkshire songbird Kate Rusby celebrates 20 years in music

Kate Rusby.
Kate Rusby.

The Barnsley nightingale Kate Rusby will release a new album on October 22nd ’12 to celebrate 20 years of making music. Entitled ‘20’ the album features new recordings of Kate’s favourite songs from throughout her illustrious career.

From the trad folk of Jolly Plough Boys and Annan Waters from her solo debut Hourglass (’98) to the seasonal beauty of Home from her 2011 Christmas album While Mortals Sleep via Unquiet Grave, Sho Heen and Wild Goose from her Mercury nominated ’99 album Sleepless, the title tracks from Underneath The Stars (2004) and Awkward Annie (2007) and many more, Kate dips into every corner of her catalogue to create a set that is a wonderful introduction for the uninitiated and a fabulous reinterpretation of her ‘greatest hits’ for the committed fan. In addition Kate has written and recorded a beautiful new song for this album called Sun Grazers, on which she duets with Paul Weller, who has never sounded in finer voice. Other collaborators on the album include folk giants Richard Thompson, Nic Jones, Paul Brady and Dick Gaughan, Radiohead drummer Phil Selway, bluegrass upstarts Chris Thile and Sarah Jarosz, American folk & country singer Mary Chapin Carpenter, Eddi Reader and many more.

‘20’ will be released on the Rusby family’s Pure Records label via Island Records. For this release Island has resurrected the legendary ‘Island Pink’ label on which albums by Nick Drake, Fairport Convention, John Martyn, Sandy Denny, and Richard & Linda Thompson were released during the 70s.

‘20’ will be available on double CD and digital download.

Kate Rusby was born into a musical family in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. Her parents had a ceilidh band which Kate and her sister Emma joined at a very early age. Kate’s musical world is still very much a family affair – her parents, along with Emma and her brother Joe manage her, run her label, record her albums and book her tours, while her husband Damien O’Kane co-produces her records and plays guitar in her band. Kate’s first album release was a collaboration with another young singer – Kate Rusby & Kathryn Roberts (’95). She has since released 9 solo albums: Hourglass (’98), Sleepless (’99), Little Lights (2001), Underneath The Stars (2004), The Girl Who Couldn’t Fly (2005), Awkward Annie (2007), Sweet Bells (2008), Make The Light (2010), and While Mortals Sleep (2011). She was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize in 99 and has won Folk singer of the year (2000), Best album (2000), Best song twice (2002 for Who Will Sing Me Lullabies and 2006 for No Names) and Best Live Act (2006) at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Proof that the cottage industry approach can pay off in the 21st century, Kate has quietly sold over a million records on the family-run independent label Pure Records and regularly plays sell-out tours around the country.

Kate’s 20th year anniversary celebrations continue this year with live shows all over the UK, and there will be some very special guests appearing with Kate and her band at the Sheffield and London shows in October.

The full list of shows is:



7, BARNSTABLE Queens Theatre

8 ST IVES , September Festival

14 HALIFAX Victoria Theatre

19 LEICESTER, De Montfort Hall

20 ST ALBANS, Alban Arena

22 OXFORD, Playhouse

23 NORWICH, Theatre Royal


21 SHEFFIELD, City Hall

23 LONDON, Royal Festival Hall


26 NEW BRIGHTON, Floral Pavilion



9 NORTHAMPTON, Royal & Derngate

10 DERBY, Assembly Rooms

16 BASINGSTOKE, Anvil Arts

17 SOUTHSEA, Kings Theatre

18 CRAWLEY, The Hawth




2 CARDIFF, St David’s Hall


8 HARROGATE, Royal Hall

9 CAMBRIDGE, Corn Exchange

12 MALVERN, Theatre

13 BRISTOL, Colston Hall

14 YORK, Barbican

16 NOTTINGHAM, Playhouse

18 WARRINGTON, Parr Hall

19 BIRMINGHAM, Symphony Hall

Tickets are available from box offices and usual agents.

Further info at Kate Rusby