To my ears, Kate Rusby’s fabulous career took yet another upward turn with her previous ”regular” outing, Life In A Paper Boat; the winter/Christmas album Angels and Men came after that one and was excellent too but seasonal music is a genre unto itself, at least to me.
And I find very little to complain about this brand new one either. The 52 minutes of music lay out a delightfully varied offering of colors and approaches. There’s the solid singer-songwriter style of the title track (whose lyrics inadvertently remind me of Monty Python’s Bruces’ Philosophers Song, but that’s just me…), the dreamy lullaby of Until Morning and the rich and near-epic soundscapes of Crazy Man Michael that features even a small but tasteful dollop of old school synthesizer, of all things. And that’s just three songs in a row in the first half of the album.
The goodies don’t end there, of course, the whole of the album being a very cohesive whole, blending the traditional and the modern, the acoustic and the electric seamlessly in the way she has mastered during her career. I can’t say there are any major surprises here but, then again, if you are this good in your game…
My favorites I warmly recommend are the aforementioned sad tale of Crazy Man Michel, the warm and swingin’ The Farmer’s Toast and the totally stunning closing, Halt The Wagons. As I had no knowledge of the tragic history behind the song, it just gave me goosebumps and this very… particular mood, at first. I’m grateful to Kate Rusby and her team for doing an 8-minute film about background of this remarkable song so now I know what it’s about. You can, and definitely should, watch it here: https://youtu.be/UoG1yZQ9YD0
Philosophers, Poets and Kings is available practically everywhere, in various audio formats.