Catherine Cunningham grew up near a small village (Athea) in West Limerick, where she developed her creative writing skills taking minutes for the Legion of Mary. At different stages, she played tin whistle, accordion, piano – and later on, the guitar.
After studying philosophy in college, she moved to Boston, where one Sunday afternoon, the words of a subway poet inspired her to quit her office job and take to the subway with her accordion.
One evening, she decided to sing a verse of a song a capella and was amazed to discover a dollar bill floating into her accordion case. Encouraged by this, she laminated the dollar bill, exchanged her accordion for a guitar and took to the roads.
In the time-honoured tradition of the folk singer, she 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 her first CD “Circles of Crazy” in 2000, she returned to Ireland and now lives in West Cork where she works on music and education projects.
In 2013, she produced a second CD/Book – “Do You Remember Me?” with Cork artist, Spark Deeley. She is currently finishing her third album “Bothering the Dead” which is due out later this 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.