Cath & Phil have been stars of the North East underground scene for the last 3 years, sharing stages with Six Organs Of Admittance, Papa M, Charalambides and many more. Cath is originally from New Jersey, US and (as Cath Oss) was a long-time member of the renowned Cordelia’s Dad and IO, and part of the shape singing quartet Northampton Harmony. Cordelia’s Dad had two of their albums produced by Steve Albini and shared stages with Weezer, Nirvana and others. Phil is a well-known multi-instrumentalist on the Newcastle scene, seasoned ceilidh player and core member of John Peel indie scuzz favourites Spraydog.
Cath’s also a renowned teacher on the Sacred Harp singing circuit: Sacred Harp is vigorous community singing of a particular collection of four part harmony hymns (from the 19th Century book The Sacred Harp) for fun and not usually for performance. Its been described as 'like a cross between Gregorian chanting and bluegrass' and elements of its stylings appear in the duos recordings.
Cath and Phil originally met some years ago when Phil was helping arrange a UK tour for Cordelia’s Dad. They fell in love and married, Cath relocating to Newcastle, and they now make beautiful music together. Literally!
Cath & Phil’s music beautifully blends the hard edged traditions of primitive Americana and English folk, using guitar, banjo, fiddle and more, all topped with their searing vocals and sublime harmonies. Their songs speak of grit, blood and guts, tenderness, love and death.
Cath & Phil believe in folk retaining its original storytelling function, passing on tales through the centuries. In their words: “These songs came to us by way of Lena Bourne Fish, Hattie Hicks Presnell, Homer Cornett, Eleazar Tillett & Martha Etheridge (Anne & Frank Warner Collection); the Sacred Harp.We changed some of the words and wrote some of the tunes.” All the songs on the album are adaptations of songs they’ve unearthed or have been passed onto them through family members, musical collaborators and their own love of the original information highway, folk music.
Cath & Phil Tyler’s take on folk is a very welcome antidote to much of the current tide of fey/faux folk and acoustic whimsy, reinstating grit, virtuosity, authenticity and mesmeric, powerful performance to this timeless genre.
Web Site: cathandphiltyler.tumblr.com/