Yorkshire singer/songwriter Kate Rusby has been quietly resurrecting English folk music for the last ten years with a grace, wit, and reverence that others have attempted yet failed to achieve. 2004's Underneath the Stars was a triumph of contemporary music both new and borrowed, an acoustic symphony of brass, guitars, and Rusby's mesmerizing voice. Listeners craving a sequel will find much to love in The Girl Who Couldn't Fly, another collection of traditional ballads and self-penned charmers that firmly establish Rusby as the Alison Krauss of British folk music. Produced again by John McCusker, her renditions of songs both old and new are presented with an effervescence that belay their sometimes wistful -- and often sexual, as in the bawdy opener, "Game of All Fours" -- natures. Rusby's own compositions ("Elfin King," "Little Jack Frost," and "The Lark," just to name a few) are marvels of timelessness. Like June Tabor and Gillian Welch, she's got one hand on the pulse of history and the other on a heart that contains a very old soul. Here's to hoping that those hands continue to pen such lovely tales.
AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger