Born in Rostrevor, Northern Ireland, McGrath learned guitar from her grandmother, who taught her to play and sing "The Lion Sleeps Tonight". McGrath's parents are both musicians and were frequent performers at the annual Fiddler's Green Music Festival held in County Down, Northern Ireland. McGrath honed her skills by observing her parents on-stage and by watching instructional videos online. McGrath took up songwriting, and in addition to performing her own material, she began making homemade videos of herself performing current pop hits, which she then posted online. McGrath has said that her country music influences include Taylor Swift, Kacey Musgraves, Kelsea Ballerini, Brad Paisley, and Rascal Flatts; she credits Swift's song "Love Story" in particular for introducing her to country music at the age of 12.
Signing with Warner Bros. Records and debut studio album
McGrath's videos attracted the attention of Instrumental, a company that finds talent online and grooms them for larger success. She moved to London to work for the company, and after only a few months, began travelling to Nashville for songwriting and studio sessions. In the summer of 2016, McGrath signed with Warner Bros. She recorded and released her first solo EP One in December later that same year. Her major label debut album, Talk of This Town, was released on 27 July 2018. McGrath played a set at the C2C: Country to Country festival in 2019 and joined Hunter Hayes on stage at the O2 Arena to duet on their song "Don't Let Me Forget".
Ward Thomas are an English modern country-pop duo, composed of twin sisters Catherine and Lizzy Ward Thomas from Hampshire. The band has been called "Britain's first country stars". Fellow country singer, Crissie Rhodes of The Shires, describes their music as written "from a British perspective". While people have been able to appreciate the American sound, they can connect with the themes of British lyrics." Cartwheels, their second studio album became the first album by a UK country act to reach number One on the UK Albums Chart surpassing the previous record by The Shires. It has since gone silver in the UK.
They’ve duetted with Cam, Jack Savoretti and even James Blunt and picked up a swathe of country music admirers on both sides of the Atlantic. If you’re a fan of Carrie Underwood, Sugarland, LeAnn Rimes and anyone from the poppier end of the country spectrum then you’ll find a lot to love here.
The Shires are a British country duo composed of singer-songwriters Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes. Earle sings harmony vocals, plays piano and guitar, and Rhodes is lead singer. The duo formed in 2013 and released their debut album Brave in 2015, becoming the first UK country act to chart in the Top 10 of the UK Albums Chart. The group's second album, My Universe, became the fastest-selling UK country album in history when it was released in October 2016.
They hail from the neighbouring counties of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire in England. "Shire" is the original term for what is usually known as a county in the United Kingdom. The duo took the band name to maintain a British identity and take a small part of Britain to the United States. After playing hardly half a dozen shows together, The Shires caught the attention of Decca Records, who signed them in the United Kingdom, and they secured a contract with American record label Universal Music Group Nashville, thus becoming the first English country act to be signed to a major Nashville label. They were also the first UK country act to have a top ten album and the first to receive an award from the American Country Music Association.
The group appeared on the Tom Jones album Praise and Blame, released in July 2010. They supported Mt. Desolation on their UK tour in autumn 2010. Jessica Staveley-Taylor also performed as part of Mt. Desolation and provided vocals for their eponymous album. The Staves released the Live at Cecil Sharp House EP and the Mexico EP in 2011, and appeared on Fionn Regan's third studio album, 100 Acres of Sycamore.
Wildwood Kin are an English contemporary family alt folk trio, composed of sisters Beth Key and Emillie Whiteside and their cousin Meghann Loney, from Exeter, Devon, England. They released their first album, Turning Tides, in August 2017. They released their self-titled second album in October 2019, featuring the smash hit "Beauty In Your Brokenness", a song inspired by the Japanese art of kintsugi. Wildwood Kin appeared on Channel 4's Sunday Brunch in September 2019.
In describing the band, The Sunday Times noted "Fleetwood Mac-like harmonies, hints of Fleet Foxes’ desolate, spectral acoustica, echoes of Ben Howard’s richly textured but ramshackle sparseness, a love of Mumford-like propulsion and explosiveness."
London country-folk-pop quartet known for their deft fingerpicking, rousing choruses, dark-hued lyrics, and sweet, close vocal harmonies.
The last time Kacey Musgraves played Glastonbury in 2014, the Texas star was just a little speck on the country landscape, albeit one that was already shaking it up from the inside.
Now she returns in 2022 as a Grammy Award winner looming large over a genre that has been completely reshaped and revitalised by her subversive brand of country traditionalism, as she hops between glossy pop and countrified disco with an ease not seen since Dolly Parton in the 70s.
Undeniably illustrious in their own rights, Robert Plant and Alison Kraus are somewhat of a super duo, currently wizzing around on their first international tour in over a decade.
Following on from the platinum-selling 2007 predecessor, Raising Sand - which won six Grammys - in December, RPak (out the way, RPatz) released Raise the Roof, which quickly became one of the most highly praised albums of 2021.
Ferris and Sylvester are an adorable folk duo made up of Issy Ferris and Archie Sylvester.
As Ferris and Sylvester, they're currently blazing a trail through the UK Americana scene with their high-energy live shows and quintessentially English take on American roots music. They followed the success of their early EPs with their debut full-length album Superhuman in March.
Expect foot stomping, hand clapping and wailing dirty blues guitars from one of the most exciting duos on the circuit right now. You won’t believe a sound this big can be made by two regular sized people.
Guided by the ethereal musings of Adrienne Lenker - one of the most noteworthy musicians across all genres at present - it's a a guarantee that Big Thief will provide one of the best sets of the weekend, period.
Since the release of their epic new 20-song album Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You, the band - which also features Holler favourite Buck Meek - have been nominated for Duo/Group of the Year at the forthcoming 2022 Americana Music Assosciation Honors & Awards, whilst also extensively touring across America and Europe.