A genre-defying songstress of blues, soul, and country-rock/Americana, Catherine 'Cat' Tunks is redefining the boundaries.
Joined with the iconic sound of gun-slinging guitarist and the banjo blues of Gavin Dowling by her side, along with special guest Krissy Jackson on fiddle (The Eastern, Albi & The Wolves, Hot Diggity) - they hit the road this summer on the Pay No Heed Tour, bringing that country, soul and good vibe blues into the Gibbston Valley.
With a rock n roll edge in the mix that stems from her thoroughbred west Auckland roots, she evokes the style of big-voiced gals with attitude, one can hear influences from Bonnie Raitt, Susan Tedeschi, Etta James to Emmy Lou Harris. Just a dusty road away from Tunks’ jazz-soul days with her infamous former NZ group ‘Black Sand Diva’.
Picked by Bluesfest Touring to open for UK Blues legend John Mayall around NZ - Catherine 'Cat' Tunks has played almost every Jazz& Blues Festival in the South Pacific and many a country music roadhouse. Catherine has become NZ’s own queen of the American ‘Southern Soul’ - a crossover of the country/blues and gospel’ genre.
A true crossover artist - and vocally trained in Jazz, she has travelled the world as a performing and recording artist with four acclaimed albums, an impressive list of festival appearances and collaborations with musicians from all over the globe. (Arli Liberman/Israel, Thomas Koenig/Germany, Stefan Nagler/Germany, Jon Sanders/Ireland) to name a few.
Whether solo or with her stellar live band often combining slide, banjo, fiddle, Hammond organ, hypnotising guitar accompaniment and vocals that soar through many moods, Tunks can give her live audience a seduction that comes only from a life well lived on and off the stage.
One of NZ's current most prolific songwriters and self-described musical gypsy, she has performed and recorded in Ireland, Germany, the South Pacific, and the US. Receiving two song-writing award nominations (ISC / Waiata Maori Music Awards), always ready with a guitar in hand and an ability to tell a travellers tale through her sultry and heartfelt vocals.