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September 2007

Conversations with Kate Rusby (1)

Picture: Andy SnaithKater2

Interviewing Kate Rusby is always a pleasure. I have met her at home, in a Canary Wharf wine bar, at a Soho luvvies' joint - the Groucho Club - and in or around assorted gigs. On this occasion, there was a truly rare touch: we spoke by telephone.

To say that Kate finds phone interviews uncomfortable would be an understatement. But she rose to the occasion to such an extent that - mindful of a long feature I had been commissioned to write that afternoon for a national newspaper - I ended up having to beg her to continue the interview by e-mail.

Our exchanges started as a project marking the release of Kate's new album Awkward Annie - buy it here - updating a biography/interview I had previously written for her website. That is now done, and you will eventually see the results here. But I thought it would be interesting to run the interview in all its questions-and-answers glory at Salut! Live.

And since the article I broke off to write for the Independent concerned kidnapping, religious cults and witchcraft, maybe Kate could do worse than explore it for songwriting inspiration......

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Kate Rusby on Dolly, Ronan and the Kinks

....and of course, Kate Rusby on much more.

I have been promising it for long enough. Tomorrow, the first part of my recent* interview with the Barnsley songbird will be posted here.

Her thoughts on those other artists are just part of a fascinating talk, which began on the telephone and continued by e-mail between South Yorkshire and the south of France (well, we felt one of us ought to be down here).

Kate tells me about her first shot at producing an album - the very impressive new one, Awkward Annie, and about most of the things she's been getting up to. There's also an entertaining quickfire Q&A. In what order the interview will appear here remains to be decided, and I have also not yet worked out how many instalments it will require.

What I have pretty much resolved to do is let the story be told in Kate's own words. So there will be a minimum of editing of the questions and answers. Please pop back here tomorrow from early afternoon, maybe even sooner; you will be rewarded with Kate Rusby in Conversation.

* Recent began life as revent, and would have remained revent had Kate's eagle-eyed brother Joe not spotted it.......bring back proof readers

** Picture: Andy Snaith