NEW zealand born / Nashville based



DECEMBER 2018 sees Auckland born, Nashville based Tattletale Saints return home, performing 13 intimate acoustic duo concerts around New Zealand in support of the release of two new singles.

This tour marks a return to the acoustic duo sound that first introduced the Saints’ music to New Zealand audiences in 2012, earning them the Tui for Folk Album of The Year in 2014. Their debut album, How Red Is The Blood, was recorded in Nashville TN in 2013 and was produced by Grammy winner Tim O’brien.

Recording in Nashville was a formative experience, and in 2014 Cy Winstanley (guitar/vocals and APRA Silver Scroll nominee) and Vanessa McGowan (bass/vocals) relocated Stateside, living and working in Nashville TN for the last 5 years.

Nashville’s thriving music scene has afforded Winstanley and McGowan the opportunity to work outside their own band, and they have each spent the last 18 months touring heavily with many different artists. Cy has spent time on the road with Aubrie Sellers and Ashley Campbell, touring through the US and UK/Europe, opening for Miranda Lambert and performing at Bonnaroo, Folk Alliance, Americanafest and The Grand Ole Opry. Vanessa performed throughout the US, Canada and the UK with multi Grammy nominee Brandy Clark, also opening for Miranda Lambert and performing on the Opry stage. With Brandy she opened for Dwight Yoakam, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and Willie Nelson, who she was privileged to join on stage in a group vocal. In August Vanessa joined Grammy winning band Sugarland on their US tour, finishing up with them in time to re-join forces with Winstanley and prepare for their homecoming tour.

Bio for 2017 release “Tattletale Saints” - written by Andrew Leahey, Nashville TN

Tattletale Saints have built their career on exploring new territory. 

Formed in New Zealand and currently based in Nashville, the duo takes a unique approach to Americana music, rolling jazz influences, coed harmonies, upright bass, and electric guitar into a sound that's as wide-ranging as the band's own travel schedule. With their self-titled sophomore album, Tattletale Saints push that sound into new directions, adding full-band arrangements and sharp, observational storytelling to the mix. 

Bandmates Cy Winstanley and Vanessa McGowan began performing together years ago in a New Zealand-based jazz ensemble before relocating to London, where they experimented with country music as one half of the four-piece Her Make Believe Band. Drawn to Nashville's creative community, the two eventually headed to Nashville in January 2013 to record their first record as a proper duo, teaming up with Grammy-winning producer Tim O'Brien along the way. That album, How Red is the Blood, became a launching pad for Tattletale Saints, earning them an audience on both sides of the Pacific Ocean while also winning the New Zealand Music Award for Folk Album of the Year in 2014. 

Now living full-time in Nashville, Tattletale Saints expand their sound with Tattletale Saints, a self-titled album of forward-thinking roots music. Produced by Josh Kaler (Matthew Perryman Jones, Dar Williams, Heather Nova), the album finds frontman Winstanley embracing his role as a storyteller, penning slice-of-life songs about the light and dark shades of love and heartbreak; folk tales of murder and atonement; and musings on aging rock stars. He plays more electric guitar this time around, too, drawing a line of evolution between the acoustic-based How Red is the Blood and the band's new material. Meanwhile, McGowan's upright bass helps root the band in the Americana tradition, holding down a foundation for Tattletale Saints' ever-evolving sound. 

With Winstanley and McGowan also performing as sidemen alongside other Nashville-based songwriters like Aubrie Sellers, Andrew Combs, Kelsey Waldon, Erin Rae and Michaela Anne, the duo's new album brims with the band's best playing to date. More than anything, though, the self-titled Tattletale Saints shines a light on a band that's spent years on the move, chasing down new songs, new sounds, and new inspirations along the way. This is just another stop on the journey.