There is something slightly surreal about reviewing a Kate Ellis single in the weekend when Nanci Griffith has passed, for Kate more than anyone else seems to evoke a similar spirit and those comparisons are likely to continue with her latest single "Bluebirds & Rye". Nanci would always make sure her tours paid a visit to Ireland and it filtered through into her recordings, "On Grafton Street", or "From Clare To Here" being just two examples. "Bluebirds & Rye" pays a similar nod sound wise to the Emerald Isle, the fiddle and exceptionally inventive brush percussion naturally bringing out those feelings the moment that you hear them.
Lyrically the song is a message to Kate's daughter, and is one that a lot of parents must be facing now. although the song predates the current global issues, the fears and concerns addressed are the same only greater, the world has probably never seemed a scarier place.
The message Kate passes is almost a tough love, there will be times when things don't right and there will be many Mr Wrongs before finding a Mr Wright but each of those wrong turns will make you who you will eventually become.
There's a slight almost imperceptible acceptance in the delivery of the next couple of lines of one who has been there and has the scars.
"Build a world and the cracks show up everywhere
Fall in love and you find out they never cared
How much worse if you gave up and never dared to love"
It is perfectly summed up later in the following lines
"You will have your day to shine
Trust me now, It's too hard to live when really you're just scared to die."
There is something incredibly soothing about Kate's delivery that has a calming air of authority to it, that gives this track the ability to pass on the reassurance is seeks to deliver.
Bluebirds & Rye will be released August 20th
Kate Ellis will be playing at The Green Note Monday Oct 11th