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Premieres July, 2006

KT Tunstall

31-year-old KT Tunstall’s fascination with music began at a young age. At first her exposure came by way of hair metal through a brother. Fortunately, her dad liked to take her and her siblings to the St. Andrews, Scotland observatory to meditate on the night sky, and perhaps this stargazing led to her love of David Bowie’s Hunky Dory.

However, metal and psychedelia have little to do with KT Tunstall’s sound, which owes a lot to American influences, despite her Scottish rearing. She straddles a space somewhere between bluesy nuance and singer-songwriter balladeer.

Early on she began playing piano and flute. Ella Fitzgerald was her muse; she learned to sing by listening to Ella. By her mid-teens, Tunstall was crafting her own music, and at age 16 she picked up the guitar. Her early compositions comprised love songs, but her American influences perhaps began to seep in when she moved to Connecticut on a scholarship for Kent School. It was in the States that she formed her first band, The Happy Campers. After high school she enrolled in a music course at London’s Royal Holloway College before returning to her hometown of St. Andrews.

Her second band, which included Fence Collective’s Pip Dylan, was formed during this time. She continued to write and eventually returned to London, where she penned some of the tunes that would eventually appear on her sparkling debut, Eye To The Telescope (Virgin), which was produced by Steve Osborne (U2, Doves, New Order). Her biggest break came by way of an appearance on the BBC television show, “Later With Jools Holland,” in October 2005. Serving as a fill-in for someone who dropped out, the diminutive Tunstall, armed only with her guitar and foot pedal, floored the audience with a rousing performance of her future single, “Black Horse And The Cherry Tree.” The performance was indicative of Tunstall’s unique gift, which separates her from the scores of female singer-songwriters out there, and that’s her apt use of a foot pedal, which she plays in and around with throughout her songs, adding extra vocal loops and instrumental lines. It’s a skill and talent well worth seeing live. Further live performances sealed her appeal and she became a sensation overseas.

In the States she has also won over the masses with her soulful, bluesy stylings, sultry alto, the strength of her single, and her rousing live shows. She has also won Best British Female Solo Artist at The Brits.