Returning to this year’s Moseley Folk Festival is the wondrous Kate Rusby. Rusby possesses one of the purest, sweetest voices in folk music and for many years she’s been charming audiences with her paradoxically joyous and melancholy songs. Uncut described her live shows as “a revelation, interspersing sublime versions of traditional folk ballads with engaging introductions, full of homely Yorkshire warmth and wit”.

1997 debut Hourglass featured a combination of traditional songs, like Annan Waters and Jolly Plough Boys, and originals written with her future husband John McCusker. Receiving widespread critical acclaim, it was followed in 1999 by Sleepless, which propelled Rusby into the limelight she’s seldom left since, being nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, and winning Best Album of the Year at the BBC Folk Awards.

Of her 2002 compilation 10, The Guardian said “no one exposes the contemporary meaning within traditionally base material as effectively as Kate Rusby”. And writing about Awkward Annie, a UK indie chart number 2 in 2007, The Independent commented that “the word Rusby next to a song title is now a surer mark of quality than the word trad”.

Rusby last visited us after releasing 20. a brilliant album of collaborations, featuring the likes of Paul Weller, Richard Thompson and Eddi Reader. Since then she has released Ghost (2014) and Life in a Paper Boat (2016); the latter features extensive use of synthesizers and drum machines, alongside a signature mix of traditional and original songs. It has been described as providing “conclusive proof that Kate’s artistry is constantly evolving” by Folk Radio and it led For Folk’s Sake to rightly say “Rusby is nothing short of a national treasure”.