After learning to play the guitar, the fiddle, and the piano, as well as to sing, Rusby played at many local folk festivals as a child and adolescent. She came to wider attention through her duets with her friend and fellow Barnsley folk singer Kathryn Roberts on the 1995 album Kate Rusby & Kathryn Roberts.
At about this time she joined, and became the lead vocalist of, the all-female Celtic folk band The Poozies. This led to her becoming a founding member of the group Equation, which included Kathryn Roberts and Seth Lakeman. Rusby left Equation (being replaced by Cara Dillon) to follow a more traditional direction and, in 1997, released her debut solo album Hourglass produced by Scottish fiddler John McCusker (to whom Rusby was married for some time).
In 1999 Rusby recorded Sleepless which earned her a Mercury Music Prize nomination and the BBC Folk Award for Best Album and Best Folk Singer.
Rusby continues to release albums mixing traditional and self-penned songs on her own Pure Records, winning fans as diverse as Graham Coxon (who provided the illustration for her album The Girl Who Couldn’t Fly) and collaborator Ronan Keating.
2008 saw the release of Sweet Bells, an album of traditional Christmas songs interpreted by Rusby.
In 2010, Rusby released the album Make the Light, a collection of self-penned songs, and in 2011 issued a second collection of Christmas songs titled While Mortals Sleep.
Edited by kexborough on 29 May 2013, 16:12
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