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Biography

Suni began playing guitar in 1956 . In 1960 he gave his first performance at a talent show - there were about 300 in the audience. He began to create the fingerpicking style and in 1961 he was one of the first 12 string solo artists. WYSO radio had Suni McGrath play his fingerpicked solo 12 string on radio at Antioch College where he became friends with Ian Buchanan and others at “the Bakery” . In 1962 In Detroit, he was asked by Detroit Folklore Society to give his first concert on his 12 string Gibson. In 1963, he takes lessons with Rev. Gary Davis and Mississippi John Hurt. A record scout heard Suni McGrath at Newport, R.I. Festival and signed him to the Piedmont label, Mississippi John Hurt’s label . In 1965 Suni invents, far-out odd-time rhythms fingerpicking results in tape sent to Folkways Records . In1968 Suni McGrath, rediscovered by new and different label, taken to east coast to record first issued album In 1971 he recorded the earliest version of the Celtic/Irish/modal (he is Irish ! ) “The Star of County Down” In 1972 Suni McGrath’s records were enthusiastically reviewed in many magazines, newspapers, and played on many radio stations nationwide. He was nominated for “Guitarist of the Year” for his three albums: Cornflower Suite, The Call of the Mourning Dove, and Childgrove .In 2001 McGrath was surprised to find 27 entries to his name on the Internet. In 2005 Suni McGrath’s track called “Train Z” , included on Tompkins Square's Imaginational Anthem compilartion, gets great reviews from critics and magazines such as BILLBOARD and MoJo (England) as does his single “Seven Stars” on the same label.

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