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KT Tunstall: Greater Than the Sum of Her Sounds

Music fans across the pond have known about Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall since last year, when her album Eye to the Telescope raked in critical praise and she was nominated for Britain's new-music honor, the Mercury Prize.

Now, Tunstall's album is getting a Stateside release, Feb. 7. Part of what draws attention to her is the live performances: She's a one-woman band, literally. Using a looping machine operated by pedal, Tunstall records and plays back harmonies, guitar and percussion all in real time. Among other things, Tunstall says, the technique helps her "escape the stigma attached to 'the girl with the guitar.'"

While she threads together different instrumentation in her songs, Tunstall also calls on a variety of influences. On her Web site, she calls Ella Fitzgerald her "singing teacher" and cites influences ranging from James Brown to PJ Harvey.

Tunstall joins Scott Simon for an interview and performance. She appears at various U.S. venues throughout March.

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