Cat Sank Trio

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Crystal Rae Jensen

The first album I wore the grooves out of was Little White Duck by Burl Ives. The first cassette tape to snap on me was a dubbed copy of Madonna's debut album my uncle sent me. The first CD I bought twice was Dylan's Biograph (all three), both times from Columbia House "12 for a Penny" flyers. I've downloaded Radiohead's OK Computer at least twice.

The first band I was ever in, I sang harmony in a Tool song complete with an electric cello solo, and we were referred to as the "Sonny and Cher of grunge."

I met my first love, if you don't count Windsor, the big brown dog, when I was 15 in Algebra II at Anoka Senior High, and we married 12 years later. That was 12 years ago. Since then, we've acquired real jobs, a real Labradoodle, four real backyard chickens, and two cats, for whom we create fictional lives.

My favorite musical sounds include the cheek-puff-lip-pop George Jones does on "White Lightning", Prince's scream-shrieks of musical intensity, and Joni Mitchell's slip-slidey butter voice. My favorite Cat Sank Moments include Terry rediscovering the lyrics to "Stars Over the Prairie" in profound ways each time we play it; Steve blissing out on The Talking Heads "Don't Worry about the Government", and Dave tuning in so tight, he drools. I love singing "Heart of Saturday Night." And, for reading this bio, I love you, too.


Terry Ruud

I started singing harmony with my hometown pals at Gatzke, Minnesota. We put our harmonies to good use in a country group called The Back Behind the Barn Boys, and toured the U.S. and Canada in the1980s. Post-Barn Boys, I moved to Nashville, playing singer/songwriter nights, including a few at the Bluebird Cafe, and with various road/house bands. I then came home to the upper Midwest, got a degree in English education from MSUM, and joined up with the Fantastic Convertibles, a 50s and 60s All-American Rock 'n Roll band based out of Minneapolis While touring with the top down, I got an MFA degree in creative writing, and--while working on that degree--ran into two like-minded people, Crystal Jensen and Steve Marquart, who were also working on their degrees. We got wind of each others' musical abilities, started singing together, and the nucleus for the Cat Sank Trio emerged. Steve and I also played in an alternative rock band, Left of the Dial, for a while. I have always innately absorbed all kinds of music, and the Cat Sank Trio thrills me in two unique ways: I've always loved bare-bones music--very sparse production--in its purest form, so I love performing acoustically, with just three voices, two guitars, and percussion; and being an acoustic/eclectic band by intention opens up our repertoire to any type of song, in any genre. Crystal, Steve, and I have been singing together for over ten years now, and when we blend, the world blossoms, for me. Now, with the addition of the excellent musicianship and kinship of percussionist Dave Chell, every tune from our decade-deep song list seems like a breath of fresh air. When I'm not playing music, I live an inordinate life with my extraordinary family in Dilworth, Minnesota.


  • My favorite quotation is: “Good road stories are only to be told on long bus rides down moonlit shoulderless highways that are slowly turning into gravel roads with roadsigns that have names that are not on your map.” –Doug Bennett (Doug and the Slugs)
  • Favorite singer: Ella Fitzgerald
  • Favorite songwriter: Keri Latimer
  • Favorite band: Roy Orbison's band in "A Black and White Night."
  • Favorite vocal group: the Statler Brothers
  • Favorite guitarist: Bob Metzger
  • Favorite song: "Columbus," by Noel Brazil
  • Favorite song that WE do: "Only Love (Can Break Your Heart)"




Steve Marquart


If you’re looking to add a unique ingredient to your function, consider the Cat Sank Trio.


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