When a colleague pointed out to folk legend Kate Rusby that she was about to celebrate two decades in the music business, she says she couldn’t believe it and had to do some quick maths to get confirmation.
But 20 years it has been since Rusby first became known to us and, in a fitting follow-up to her first decade anniversary, called 10, she has released a double album to mark the occasion, fittingly called 20.
As anniversary celebrations go, this is quite an indulgent affair that has allowed Rusby to tick off a treasure trove of wishes.
In the 20 songs that appear on the new album, she only includes one new track, instead looking back on her career and picking out her favourites dating back to her debut Hourglass album in 1998.
But this is more than your standard, run-of-the-mill greatest hits package from the Barnsley Nightingale.
Instead, she has re-worked some of her classic folk tunes and added a further element of spice by inviting along her friends and musical heroes to duet with her.
There are some quality names on here as well, not least Paul Weller,who pops up for the new song Sun Grazers and is completely outsung by Rusby.
A better one to watch out for would be the Sarah Jarosz collaboration Planets, Dick Gaughan appearing on Wandering Soul and Scottish singer Eddi Reader making her mark on lullaby Sho Heen.
For me, the biggest appearance on the album is from Nic Jones. The folk legend, whose thriving career was cut short by a car accident in 1982 shortly after his Penguin Eggs album was released, sings on The Lark in a rare recording appearance.
Rusby has long cited Jones as being a major influence so it must have pleased her immensely to get him on the album, Penguin Eggs being a classic to this day.
I shared her disappointment, then, when I went along to her special 20th anniversary special night in Sheffield to learn he couldn’t be a special guest because his wife had suffered injuries falling off a ladder.
Much as we missed Nic Jones, the evening was a delight and Rusby was able to reveal a range of guests who came along to share the celebrations.
Most notable were Dick Gaughan and bluesgrass genius Sarah Jarosz.
Backed by some incredibly talented musicians, Rusby signed off song after song with perfection, proving to be one of the rare artists who can actually beat a studio CD performance in the flesh. It was a great evening to be at, and it’s a great album to invest in.
The third studio album from The Twang is out on Monday, and a nice listen it is too.
Following the widespread success of their previous two records, The Twang will see 10:20 firmly seal their place as a British band which is here for the long run.
Written in their own Birmingham studio and named after an irate message somebody stuck to their studio door, 10:20 features a new drummer from the underground house scene.
Reflective and dealing with issues that occur when people are thrown together, two high points come in the two songs picked for early singles.
Paradise and Guapa is the story of a soldier falling for a girl just before being posted for battle, and We’re A Crowd is a call for people to join together in a positive way, penned during the 2011 riots.
To mark the album, The Twang hit the road in early November.