Thursday, 6 October 2011

Review: Rita Hosking

Rita Hosking - Burn (RH Records)
Despite the voice that easily fits the country music mold, and be in no doubt, this is country music, Rita Hosking certainly has the spirit and the inflection to be another Kate Rusby. Of course, she would need to immerse herself in the English folk tradition to be able to do this, but I bet she’d only need a crash course to pull it off. The reason I mention this is because when listening to her sing, there’s a genuine sensation that the two genres are not that far apart. On "When Miners Sang" you can imagine it could be about County Durham or Durham, North Carolina. Her voice reflects that, as it seems to marry the tones of Gillian Welch to those of Linda Thompson. And when a song like "Ballad For The Gulf Of Mexico" is aimed squarely at the plight of the workers – “Talk about the war... Let's talk about the war on the working man... 'Cos the mills shut down, the mines shut down... Lovers out of work and factories moved to foreign ground” - the gap is non-existent, though of course, the delivery is.

Her fine singing of her own fine songs (all eleven on the album are self-penned) is ably assisted by the production of Rich Brotherton, who also provides excellent musicianship on all stringed instruments, apart from fiddle and pedal steel. Of course, this review doesn’t tell the whole story. The songs are more diverse than I can cover in a few hundred words, but please understand, Hosking is the real deal, a singer-songwriter with plenty of talent. Have a listen for yourself.
Kev A.

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