b. Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England. Roberts, the daughter of a music teacher, studied clarinet as a child, albeit in the classical tradition. She also took up the flute and piccolo at an early age, and in addition to her musical talents is a champion Irish step dancer. Roberts was awarded BBC Radio Two’s Young Tradition Award in 1994, and the same year sung vocals on the Lakeman Brothers’ debut album, 3 Piece Suite. This led to the formation of the Equation, a folk roots band that featured Kate Rusby, Roberts and the Lakeman Brothers. Rusby and Roberts had appeared with numerous traditional and ceilidh bands, and had worked together previously as child dancers and on other collaborative projects. Their own debut, released in 1995, included a cover version of Suzanne Vega’s ‘The Queen And The Soldier’ as well as more traditional material such as ‘Courting Is A Pleasure’ and ‘The Plains Of Waterloo’, and was elegant, understated and beautifully played and sung throughout. It was Folk Roots magazine’s Album Of The Year in 1995.
Rusby subsequently embarked on a solo career, leaving Roberts to concentrate on her work with Equation. She launched a duo recording career with Sean Lakeman in the new millennium, releasing two low-key acoustic albums on the I Scream label.