Interview: Catherine McGrath | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Catherine McGrath is a singer-songwriter from County Down in Northern Ireland who rose to fame after she landed a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records in 2016. McGrath learned to play guitar from her grandmother and honed her skills by seeing her parents on-stage and by watching instructional videos online. 

Her style is informed by contemporary pop as well as the updated country sounds of artists such as Taylor Swift, Kacey Musgraves and Maddie & Tae. Her debut studio album, Talk Of This Town was released on 27 July 2018 to rave reviews and debuted at number 13 on the UK Albums Chart. 

Catherine performs at Hardwick Live on Saturday 17th August and so we had a quick Q&A to find out more about her.

Who are your biggest musical influences?
Rascal Flatts and Taylor Swift, but very early on it was people like Judy Garland and Doris Day whose music I would sing. It’s a mix of a lot of people which is why I don’t think my sound is traditional country.

What’s your songwriting process?
It’s different every time but usually I’ll start with a lyric I’ve already written into my phone or just talk about something I’ve been through, then someone will start playing guitar or piano and it goes from there. It’s always fun because it’s never the same. 

Can you tell us more about your debut album, Talk Of This Town.
 It’s a 13 track album, I co-wrote all of the songs with so many of my favourite writers and it’s basically my story up until 21. 

Country music is having a bit of a resurgence as of late. Why do you think this is?
I think more people are realising it’s just good honest storytelling. There were always a lot of ideas around country music being just about trucks or beer or for a certain age group. It’s progressed so much and there are so many different types of country – from Sam Hunt to Maren Morris to Willie Nelson. There’s something for everyone and it’s so relatable that once people hear it they love it.

Which is your all-time favourite Country music song?
What hurts the most by Rascal Flatts, always.

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