A gifted songwriter with a beautiful voice, Catherine MacLellan comes by her talents naturally -- her father, Gene MacLellan, was himself a celebrated tunesmith who penned some of the biggest Canadian hits of the '70s.
Catherine MacLellan was born and raised in the community of Summerside on Prince Edward Island, off the Eastern coast of Canada. Influenced by her father, whose best-known tunes included "Snowbird" (a breakthrough hit for Anne Murray
) and "Put Your Hand in the Hand" (an international success for Ocean
), MacLellan first began playing guitar when she was 14 years old. After she finished high school, she spent a year in Australia before returning to Canada and moving to Toronto, where she began making the rounds of the city's folk clubs and coffeehouses, appearing at open-mike nights. Eventually, MacLellan returned to PEI, and became a regular at the island's folk venues, playing with a pair of groups, a folk combo called the New Drifts and a classic country band called Saddle River. After pulling up stakes for Halifax, MacLellan broke out as a solo artist with the release of her first album, 2003's Dark Dream Midnight, which was issued by the independent Maple Music
label. After a second independent album, 2006's Church Bell Blues, MacLellan came to the attention of the venerable Canadian label True North Records
, which brought out her third album, 2009's Water in the Ground, as well as reissuing her first two LPs. 2009 also saw MacLellan return to Prince Edward Island as her public profile was on the rise. She was named Solo Artist of the Year at the 2009 Canadian Folk Music Awards, was the PEI winner in BBC Radio's Great Canadian Song Quest competition, and received trophies for Folk Recording of the Year, and Female Solo Recording of the Year at the 2010 East Coast Music Awards. In 2011, MacLellan returned with Silhouette, which earned her another Folk Recording of the Year prize at the East Coast Music Awards. 2014's The Raven's Sun was yet another prize-winner for her, as she took home her first Juno Award for Roots and Traditional Album of the Year. In 2017, 22 years after her father died by his own hand, MacLellan paid tribute to his life and work with the album If It's Alright with You: The Songs of Gene MacLellan. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi