Speaking of things from beyond the pale, there are angelic voices, and there is Kate Rusby. There are four women who can sing anything at any time and I will rush to hear them: Mavis Staples, Karen Peris, Harriet Wheeler, and Kate Rusby. There is purity in Ms. Rusby’s voice and her acoustic Brit folk, replete with tales of tragic love, press gangs, and lovers separated by class and social expectation. Her band is an absolute delight. This was a Christmas gift in 2013 and I have watched it at least a dozen times since. She is charming and lovely, and if there was any justice in the world the Royal Family would have her named a national treasure.
Arriving two years after Lee’s 2011 Mission Bell cd, this concert film is a welcome addition. Mission Bell is an album of such grace and compassion that it quickly became, for me, a collection of songs that are best termed, “good for the soul.” Fast forward to 2014 and Mission Bell is still in regular rotation in my car cd player. This concert finds Lee performing many of those songs, along with other fine tunes from his catalog, in the refurbished southwest art deco Fox Theatre in Tucson. Lee, backed by the splendid Calexico, is stellar throughout. The set list is dang near perfect. Thank God he quit his day job some years back, I wouldn’t know what to do without him.