Kate Burke & Ruth Hazleton
Kate Burke has been singing and performing as a multi-instrumentalist for many years, and has won much acclaim as a member of Irish / Australian traditional band Trouble in the Kitchen. Kate is in demand as a session guitarist and album producer, and has performed music for film and television. An award-winning and highly-accomplished songwriter, Kate’s songs have been performed and recorded by such artists as Muireann nic Amhlaoibh (Danu) and Tolka.
Kate is passionate about community music, and is the director of the Bega Valley Children’s Choir. She has appeared as a soloist at the Sydney Opera House for a season of Bush Babies’ Proms. She also plays with Pete Wild and the Only Ones, on various instruments… including the trumpet.
"I think that Kate Burke and Ruth Hazleton are amazing." - Mike Harding, BBC Radio 2
"(part) of a new generation of gifted Australian performers bringing traditional and original songs to appreciative younger audiences… capable of moving the listener to tears” - The Australian
Kate Burke and Ruth Hazleton are two of Australia’s most respected and renowned folk musicians. Their vocal harmonies, exceptional musicianship and unique interpretations of traditional song have won them national and international acclaim over the years.
Since performing together for the first time in 1998, Kate & Ruth have toured Australia and internationally, recorded five studio albums, and played and recorded with such luminaries as Andy Irvine and Bruce Molsky. They’ve picked up awards (ScreenSound Australia Award for Best Folk Album, Lis Johnston Award for Vocal Excellence), and have been described by The Australian as “Why folk music is cool again”.
Their new album Declaration heralds a new era for the duo as they collaborate with musician and producer Luke Plumb (Shooglenifty), and explore the light and darkness of our world through the lens of folksong. The album was recorded at various locations around Melbourne and vocals completed at Sing Sing Recording Studios. Over a year in production, Declaration showcases a different side of Kate and Ruth, both individually and as a duo:
Declaration is an album is full of atmosphere and shifting gears - from tales of strong women, hardships, wistful vignettes, infidelity, true love, spirituality and the complexity of the world in which we live. Traditional songs, contemporary songs and self-penned works are interpreted through intricate and sometimes sparse guitar and banjo arrangements (occasionally accompanied by Luke Plumb on mandolin and bouzouki), which serve to highlight their trademark - brilliant vocals.
“There’s a lot of bold material on the album in terms of both subject matter and treatment… I don’t think the album could ever be accused of being safe, of retreading familiar ground or of gently easing back into the saddle and that was one of our conclusions in the preparation stage - this had to be a real step further from the previous albums.” – Luke Plumb, producer
Ruth Hazleton has been performing in numerous touring acts for over 15 years. She has dabbled in a variety of musical genres including Appalachian old-timey, klezmer, Hungarian and Anglo-Celtic roots music. She has worked as singer, guitarist and clawhammer banjo player with numerous bands including Closet Klezmer, the Horse’s Leotard, Bill Jackson’s Acoustic Orchestra and Dev’lish Mary.
Alongside studying Australian folklore, Ruth has recently been working as a collector of childrens’ folklore. Ruth is a strong and agile vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, and has been a dominant figure on the Australian festival scene for many years.