THE WORD “magic” attaches itself to the festive period almost by default and nothing encapsulates it better than music.
For one, there is ample time to listen to it — time you’ll need to savour this offering from Kate Rusby in all its glory.
It’s a delightful melange of traditional South Yorkshire ballads, sung locally in pubs over centuries, mixed with contemporary gems.
Rusby’s voice, effortlessly expressive and soothing, is complemented by sublimely measured instrumentation and there’s a luxurious elegance to the brass arrangements by Andrew Duncan in what’s a collective labour of love and excellence.
Yorkshire Three Ships and Lu Lay delight, while Thomas Haynes Bayly’s The Mistletoe Bough wrenches the heart.
The dulcet humour of Hippo For Christmas and the raucous love story of BBBB (Big Brave Bill from Barnsley), one of “the heroes who drink Yorkshire Tea all the time,” are a seasonal delight.