Catherine McGrath – One Bright Star

Over the past five years the genre of country music has surged in popularity in the UK due to a number of factors. Firstly, the legendary broadcaster Bob Harris and his family have always championed new talent in the genre with both his radio programmes and his Under The Apple Tree brand which is going from strength to strength providing coverage to the under the radar acts.

Secondly, the hit American television series Nashville has been welcomed by the British public with open arms so much so that they are embarking on their second Nashville In Concert UK Tour in June 2017 with original cast members filling arenas up and down the country.

Thirdly, the Country To Country Festival (C2C) has become a staple in the UK festival season with weekends of country music showcasing both established and up and coming musicians from the all around the world in London and Glasgow, Scotland. 

And finally, just like blues music, the public relate to the country music material of relationships, life & death, family, friends, partying, drinking, isolation, love, hard work, and making ends meet.

One artist whose material connects with the UK and US audiences alike is 19-year-old singer-songwriter Catherine McGrath from the rural outskirts of Belfast. With the release of her debut EP ‘One’ on Warners Music and a series of 2017 UK live dates, we sat down with Catherine for an exclusive interview. So sit back and enjoy… 

John Bull/Rockrpix

Could you tell me about the track ‘Cinderella’?

‘Cinderella’ is a song that I wrote the first time I ever came to Nashville, I wrote it with Liz Rose and Phil Barton. It’s about being friends with someone who you have feelings for and wondering if they feel the same about you.

How do you write songs – do you write on a guitar or a piano? Is it lyric or melody first?

It’s always different. I get lyric ideas at random times and put them into my phone so sometimes I’ll go into a studio with an idea about what I want to call the song, or sometimes I’ll have some rough lyrics for it, or sometimes I just get there and someone will start to play an instrument and we just see what we come up with. It’s always different and it’s always fun.

Could you please describe your hometown in five words

Favourite place in the world.

At what age did you first start listening to country music? What was the first artist and song you remember listening to?

I was 12 when I discovered Taylor Swift, I heard her song ‘Love Story’ and started to listen to all of her other songs and I started listening to other country artists like Rascal Flatts.

Where are you planning to tour next?

I’ll be playing C2C festival in London then touring the UK with Canaan Smith – we’re going to Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Brighton and London!

Your sound has been compared to early Taylor Swift. Do you agree with this and is she an influence?

Taylor has definitely influenced my music, I think my music is influenced by everything I listen to, from Taylor, Kacey Musgraves, Rascal Flatts and other country artists as well as pop music I heard growing up.

Could you tell me about the track ‘Hell Would Have To Freeze Over’. Is it autobiographical?

I wrote it about a guy who never really put in enough effort with me and he was never honest, and when I decided I was done with trying for him, he said he would do anything to get me back and the tables turned. So that’s what this song is about.

What was the first live gig you went to, where was it and how old were you?

I’ve watched my parents play in local pubs etc since I was tiny, but my first ‘real’ concert I think was an Owl City concert in Dublin, I was probably 13 or 14.

You moved to London a while ago, how are you finding London and have you found any new favourite hangouts e.g. bars, restaurants, clubs etc.?

I’ve been in London for over a year now but it’s gone by so fast! There’s a place called Cherry n Berry that does amazing waffles and ice creams, I love just walking around Trafalgar Square and Hyde Park. Orange Pekoe in Barnes Bridge does awesome food too, I love it there.

If the producers of the television series ‘Nashville’ approached you and asked to use one of your songs, what song would you like them to use and which character would you like to sing it? Please give reasons why.

I love Nashville so it would be amazing to see my song on the show, I love Gunnar and Scarlett and Deacon just for their personalities on the show but all of the characters are incredible singers so it would just depend on the song and the storyline!

Glenn Sargeant

Catherine McGrath


(Many thanks to Catherine and Jenni Vodden at Wilful Publicity)

Feature Image Photo Credit: John Bull at Rockrpix

Catherine McGrath’s debut EP ‘One’ is out now on Warners Music.

For more information visit Catherine McGrath’s Facebook Page here:

In addition, Catherine will be touring the UK 2017 to support the release. The UK live dates are listed below:

Catherine McGrath

Saturday 11th March 2017 – C2C Festival,  O2 Arena, Greenwich, London,  United Kingdom

Sunday 12th March 2017 – C2C Festival,  Greenwich, London, United Kingdom

Tuesday 14th March 2017 – Bush Hall, London, United Kingdom (supporting CAM)

Wednesday 15th March 2017  – O2 Institute 2, Birmingham, United Kingdom (supporting Canaan Smith)

Thursday 16th March 2017  – Deaf Institute, Manchester, United Kingdom (supporting Canaan Smith)

Saturday 18th March 2017  – Thekla, Bristol, United Kingdom (supporting Canaan Smith)

Sunday 19th March 2017  – Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth, United Kingdom (supporting Canaan Smith)

Monday 20th March 2017  – Concorde 2, Brighton, United Kingdom (supporting Canaan Smith)

Tuesday 21st March 2017  – Bush Hall, London, United Kingdom (supporting Canaan Smith)

Thursday 23rd March 2017 – The Cavern, Liverpool, United Kingdom (Under The Apple Tree Presents: New Country)

Monday 27th March 2017 – The Social, London, United Kingdom

Wednesday 19th April 2017 – The Bedford, Balham London, United Kingdom

Monday 14th May 2017 – Bush Hall, London, United Kingdom (supporting Una Healy)

Thursday 18th May 2017 – The Great Escape Festival, Brighton, United Kingdom

3-6th August 2017 – Wilderness Festival (Main Stage), Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom