Usually dispatched within 1-2 business days
, the soundtrack to the gentle northern comedy of the same name, is the work of Yorkshire-based husband and wife team Kate Rusby and John McCusker who are among Britfolk's most respected musicians. The reason they're part of that select group is that they've managed to make the leap from simply interpreting traditional Scottish and English folk songs and tunes to writing new material which sounds as though it could easily be part of the tradition, and thus eventually will be.
If you already have all of Rusby's albums, especially the retrospective 10 (which several of the songs here are drawn from) and you haven't seen Heartlands, this CD may seem a little superfluous. But if you enjoyed the film and are relatively new to the genre, it's a fine introduction to the work of both artists. Rusby has a clear, unadorned voice that combines sensuality and gravitas. She never sounds like a dreary folkie and she does it all in a broad Yorkshire accent.
McCusker produces a lovely mellow tone on the fiddle. He composed all the instrumental tunes specifically for the movie, apart from a couple of contributions featuring Irish American luminary Tim O'Brien on mandolin and yodel. It's warmly recommended with the above reservations. --Jon Lusk