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Wednesday 17 October 2018

Cathy gets Nashville break to be cherished

In a music town where there are over one million songwriters are waiting for a chance to break into the country music industry it is quite and achievement to have a song chosen for a Nashville recorded album.Well, this big break has happened Dundalk-born Cathy Maguire. Her song When Sadie Met Grady a true story about an incident that happened a little girl, was b

by Ian Coogan

In a music town where there are over one million songwriters are waiting for a chance to break into the country music industry it is quite and achievement to have a song chosen for a Nashville recorded album.

Well, this big break has happened Dundalk-born Cathy Maguire. Her song ‘When Sadie Met Grady’ a true story about an incident that happened a little girl, was been taken up by Warner Brothers and will be recorded by Elexis Eburt a rising star for his album which will be in the shops around Christmas and it will be released as either the second or third single from the album.

Cathy (26) first burst onto the music scene when she recorded her debut album at the tender age of 12. It was picked up by 2FM Dj Gerry Ryan who invited her to perform on his show. Cathy hadn’t even left the building before producers of many of the RTE shows were in contact to invite her to perform and over the next couple of months, she made regular trips to Montrose.

Over the next couple of years Cathy performed all over the country and found time to record another two albums and at 15 had taken over Sandy Kelly’s band when Sandy headed for London to perform in the Patsy Cline Story.

Highlights of Cathy’s career during this time were performances for President Robinson at a garden party in Aras and a BBC Christmas Concert in the Ulster Hall.

But even at an early age, Cathy realised that she would be stifled in her music career by a lifetime on he road, of constant giging, week in, week out. She decided that a change was necessary and knew that if she wanted to pursue her dream, she needed qualifications to allow her to do what she loved.

Returning back to Dundalk, but continuing to play and write music, she completed her Leaving Cert. She then became a qualified Beauty Therapist at the Scappaticci School but her next career move took place two years ago when she was accepted to the DkIT where she is currently studying for her B.A. Honours Degree in Music Studies.

This week sees Cathy returning to continue her studies after spending most of the summer over in Nashville where she has been co-writing with some of the biggest names in the country music business. She first visited Nashville in 2000 and since then has been back a number of times to work on her writing skills and co-write with some of the best in the business.

During her visits she performed in a number of shows, some specifically for songwriters and one of her songs was chosen by Martina McBride as a possibility to appear on one of her albums. After this another song was chosen by Warner Brothers and she worked with Paul Worley (who produces the Dixie Chicks) on the song for Elexis Eburt and over the last while she has been working with Pat McInerney who has had major successes with Nanci Griffith.

While in Nashville Cathy has rubbed shoulders with some of the greats in Country Music including Hal Ketchum, Charlie Pride, Wynona Judd, Big and Rich, Tanya Tucker, Vince Gill and even the late great Johnny Cash whom she met while he was recording his last album.

So what does the future hold for such a talented young lady?

Well she is eager to get her degree for since she started at college she has had numerous avenues opened up to her in the business, has been able to explore different disciplines from traditional music to opera which have helped with her production skills and is now studying piano.

When she has completed her college work Cathy hopes to work as a voice coach and also in the social arts where she can help with underprivileged kids to nurture their musical abilities.

In the immediate future Cathy will be performing a support slot for Hal Ketchum on one of his five dates at part of his Irish tour; she will be in action in the Waterfront in Belfast on Friday night. She met Hal in Nashville earlier in the summer.

She will perform a bluegrass set with three other musicians and it promises to be something rather special. Not having performed in Dundalk for quite a few years now, some were lucky enough to see Cathy play one of her songs when she competed in the Louth Rose of Tralee contest a couple of months ago where she completely blew the rest of the contestants off the stage with a performance that was nothing short of astounding.

A real success story for a girl who has managed to get a song recorded in Nashville in such a short time, many songwriters go there and spend their entire lives trying for such a feat. The other two Irish writers managed that feat, Mick Hanley for ‘Past The Point Of Rescue’ and Paul Brady for ‘The Long Goodbye’ very impressive stable mates indeed!



The only question left unanswered is, when will Cathy find time to play in front of her home fans? Time alone will tell on that one!





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