I grew up near a small village (Athea) in West Limerick, where I developed my creative writing skills taking minutes for the Legion of Mary. If I had been the treasurer, I might have developed a rather different skillset! At different stages, I played tin whistle, accordion, piano – and air guitar on my tennis racquet.
I left college with a degree in philosophy and moved to Boston, where one Sunday afternoon, the words of a subway poet inspired me to quit my office job and take to the subway with my accordion.
One evening, I decided to sing a verse of a song a capella and was amazed to discover a dollar bill floating into my accordion case. Encouraged by this, I laminated the dollar bill, exchanged my accordion for a guitar and took to the roads.
In the time-honoured tradition of the folk singer, I hitched around the U.S. and Canada, sharing music and stories with truckers, gurus, ex-cons and evangelists – around campfires, on street corners at protests and at festivals.
After recording my first CD “Circles of Crazy” in 2000, I returned to Ireland and now work on music and education projects.
In 2013, I produced a second CD/Book – “Do You Remember Me?” with the wonderful Cork artist, Spark Deeley, and I am currently in the process of recording my fourth album “Bothering the Dead” (the third album “Stronger for the Flame” is due for release next year!)
“I receive hundreds of albums each year and I think there is something very special in what she does.”
Colm Sands, BBC Radio Ulster
“A remarkable songwriter”
John Moriarty, writer/philosopher
“I like the way you sing”
“Sad, funny, angry, political, you name it! She’s one of the wittiest, cleverest songwriters I know.”
Paul O’Colmain, singer/songwriter
“As unpredictable as the roads she has traveled, Catherine’s songs twist and unravel through the most unexpected of landscapes, to paint pictures and stories full of longing, humour and power.
Mischievious and highly irreverent, Cunningham’s performances are intimate affairs, where the audience is regaled with stories of the road, the heart and the Legion of Mary.
And then there’s her fascination with moving statues and nursery rhymes . . .”
Catherine’s PR agent