Auckland based duo Tattletale Saints is vocalist, guitarist, songwriter Cy Winstanley and vocalist, double bassist Vanessa McGowan.
Originally part of London based 4-piece band, Her Make Believe Band, Winstanley and McGowan recorded the debut TTS album How Red Is the Blood in January 2013 in Nashville, TN with Grammy winning producer and multi instrumentalist Tim O’Brien.
Funded with the support of over 220 of the duos fans, the album is being released in New Zealand via DRM and Rhythmethod on March 29th 2013.
Cy Winstanley cut his musical teeth in New Zealand singing, playing guitar and harmonica and, after a passing teenage obsession with guitar rock, discovered bluegrass, jazz and blues. He met fellow New Zealander, bassist Vanessa McGowan in a local jazz big band.
Following the urge to discover his Liverpudlian roots, Cy moved to London in 2004 and spent 7 years busking, writing and playing around the country including performances in London at The Forum supporting the Violent Femmes, Royal Festival Hall, The Borderline, Cornbury Festival and Toast Festival.
In 2005 Vanessa left New Zealand to do a Masters of Music in Jazz Bass on scholarship at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas she performed with some of America’s most revered jazz musicians including Chris Potter, Joe La Barbera, Marlena
Shaw and Ruth Brown, as well as touring Costa Rica and performing in New York City at the International Association For Jazz Education Conference and Dizzy’s Club at The Lincoln Centre.
Upon their reunion in 2007, Cy convinced Vanessa she could sing, showed her how to play a country 2-feel, and Her Make Believe Band was born.
Performing as a duo, Cy and Vanessa presented Cy’s songs in their rawest form, with just acoustic guitar, double bass and voices described as “love letters between Amy Mann and a slip-sliding Paul Simon”.
In April 2010 Her Make Believe Band toured New Zealand for the first time, introducing their home audience to the duo’s unique blend of country/folk/pop. Cy then spent a period living and working in Malaysia as a guest jazz vocalist and guitarist at an established jazz club, while Vanessa began writing and arranging for her first solo offering ‘Mermaids and Whiskey’
which was released in October 2012.
Vanessa and Cy returned to NZ permanently, renaming their new incarnation, Tattletale Saints.
After a highly successful PledgeMe crowd funding campaign, Tattletale Saints traveled to Nashville, TN in January 2013 to record their first Tattletale Saints album. With Grammy Award winner Tim O'Brien producing, the album was recorded at the Butcher Shoppe Recording Studios with renowned engineer David Ferguson. The studio is part owned by acclaimed singer-songwriter John Prine and is the birthplace of many of Johnny Cash’s hit records.
Following the release of the new album the duo will embark on an extensive nationwide album release tour in April/May.
Praise for Vanessa McGowan and Cy Winstanley
"In Cy Winstanley they have a potent songwriter with a voice gently reminiscent of Paul Simon, while fellow Kiwi Vanessa McGowan adds beguiling harmonies" Uncut Magazine
"A delightful album...hooks you in with melodies and keeps you there by virtue of the words...very sharp stuff". Graham Reid, Elsewhere.co.nz
"...a masterful blend of Americana fused with Jazz, Soul and Pop... “ www.themusiccritic.co.uk
“Winstanley's songs are intelligent and original" Country Music People Magazine
"Beautiful melodies with a fragility that is a joy to behold... “Crack Magazine UK
"Their songs are as pretty and romantic as the Southern Cross itself. Sweetened by Cy’s mellifluous delivery and double bass player Vanessa McGowan’s gorgeous harmonies, they sound like love letters between Amy Mann and a slip-sliding Paul
Simon." The Crypt Sessions
"Celebrated as one of the most exciting new alternative country acts around, Her Make Believe Band have undoubtedly created some beautiful and original tunes...They have the right mix of smart lyrics and sweet melodies that appeal to the old romantic in me." Morning Star