Callaghan Across America

callaghan across america

I’ve decided to set myself a challenge for the Spring.

A road trip like no other.

Starting in Boston on May 3, I’m going to make my way across the USA playing a house show each night, traveling from sea-to-shining-sea! The tour will wind its way across the USA to reach Berkeley California by June 2. What the route will be between those two destinations will depend on who hosts a show!

The tour’s called Callaghan Across America.

I’ve been doing house concerts since moving to America. They were an innovation to me, something I had not come across on the other side of the pond, but once I had done a couple I was hooked.

So, for a couple of years now, as well as playing in clubs and public venues all over the USA, I’ve also been setting up my PA system in people’s living rooms and  playing live for them and their friends.

More and more people are opening up their homes to live music and inviting their friends to hear artists they love. For listeners, house shows offer a relaxed and intimate way to hear live music. For independent artists like me they offer a fantastic way to reach new fans, make new friends and stay on the road making music.

This tour is going to be a great challenge, and also a celebration of this growing grassroots movement in live music. We’ll see if house shows alone can take Callaghan Across America!

On the way I’ll be stopping at interesting sites and sampling local food from each place, so I’ll definitely be looking for some great recommendations on which direction to go!

If you might be interested in hosting a house concert – even if you’ve never done one before – head over to my website that has information about what’s involved: www.callaghansongs.com/houseconcerts

To let me know that you might like to host a show please email callaghanmusic@me.com

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , ,

Kitchens of the future…cool or just plain crazy?

Futuristic kitchens

I have a funny feeling that I might be growing up.

I’m actually considering buying a house.

While the prospect of taking on this level of responsibility is somewhat daunting, I am distracting myself with the thought that for the first time in my life, I can make the place I live exactly how I want it.

I’m sure that, given the modest budget I’ll be working with, my interior design skills will only be stretched to painting a few walls and hanging some pictures. But if I won the lottery tomorrow and decided to go a bit crazy, there is no shortage of options out there for creating something out of this world. And obviously I would start with the most important room in the house in my opinion – the kitchen!

Here are some ultra modern, futuristic kitchens I saw that look immensely cool but what I still can’t figure out is where do people keep all the food and appliances?

Imagine coming in here after a night out – I feel dizzy!

Source: Uploaded by user via Callaghan on Pinterest

60’s Futuristic Kitchen – I love that the vision of futuristic in the 60s was a disco ball in the kitchen!

Source: Uploaded by user via Callaghan on Pinterest

Very cool, but possibly a bit too similar to CSI?

Source: indulgy.com via Callaghan on Pinterest

Why have one color when you can have them all?

Source: luxury-interior.org via Callaghan on Pinterest

Wow, this one is seriously weird!

Source: Uploaded by user via Callaghan on Pinterest

Love the hanging herb gardens. Slightly reminds me of the Teletubbies set though

Source: idesignarch.com via Callaghan on Pinterest

For people who reeeally love chipboard…

Source: designakitchen.com via Callaghan on Pinterest

No idea what this would be useful for, but it looks COOL!

Source: indulgy.com via Callaghan on Pinterest

Ok, by far my favorite. I would actually consider buying enough Lego to make this myself. SOLD!

Source: dwell.com via Callaghan on Pinterest

What do you think of them – cool or crazy?

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Let’s ‘Ave a Proper Brew!

My favourite tea..."Let's Have a Proper Brew!"

Yorkshire Tea – my favourite to make the perfect cuppa’



For the past few weeks I’ve been back in England. And despite the cold and wintery weather I have been enjoying a few home favorites.

Through all the glorious pints of Guinness, Fish and Chips and much missed chocolate bars I’ve been re-acquainting myself with, I wonder how I managed to live here all those years without putting on 20 pounds a week! Although there’s nothing like not knowing when you’re going to get to eat a particular food again to make you go a bit crazy – I think it might be time to get back on the juice diet when I return to Nashville!

It’s usually at this point in my trip that I’m considering buying extra suitcases to fill with tins of Heinz Baked Beans, tubs of Birds Custard powder and boxes of Yorkshire Tea, but I have so far managed to resist.

Here are some pictures from my travels which remind me of some of the reasons I love coming home…

There's nothing like traditional fish n' chips!

There’s nothing like traditional fish ‘n’ chips!

The slightly odd combination of tea and giant strawberry meringue!

The slightly odd combination of tea and giant strawberry meringue!

 

Giant meringue

It tasted good though…!


It's surprising the things you miss from home! Some of my favorite flavours of crisps

It’s surprising the things you miss from home! Some of my favorite flavours of crisps

Bacon

You can’t go wrong with a bacon sandwich, covered in Heinz Ketchup!

No birthday party is complete without...Jelly and icecream!

No birthday party is complete without…Jelly and icecream!

If you were living in another country, what would be the one food you’d miss the most??


Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Joys of Turning Two

Jelly and Ice-cream, chocolate cake with Cadbury’s chocolate buttons, numerous books and videos of Noddy’s adventures, and a super cool wooden car complete with hippy-looking driver. These are just a few things that go into making up the perfect two-year old’s birthday party.

The birthday boy in question this time was my gorgeous nephew, Noah.
Having just flown in from Nashville a couple of hours earlier, I was so pleased to be able to celebrate the day with him. I’m not sure how much he understood of the concept of birthdays – indicated by the fact that when my sister asked him who had brought all of his lovely presents his reply was “Santa”. Oh well.

But he certainly looked like he had fun with them, and nothing summed up the pure joy in the eyes of a two year old as when his giant chocolate cake was placed in front of him.

Priceless!

Turning two with birthday cake

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Sun, Sea, Sand, Great Music and a few Painkillers (the alcoholic kind!)

There’s nothing better to make the cold early months of the year more bearable than a trip to some tropical Caribbean islands.

This year I was lucky enough to be booked on Cayamo; a music cruise that sails every year from Miami to the Caribbean and for 7 days is home to around 40 artists and 2,000 guests.

Each artist performs three shows during the week as well as collaborating with each other and joining in with some impromptu jam sessions that spring up all over the boat.

onboard Cayamo Music Cruise

I had a fantastic time at all my shows and met some amazing people, got to perform with Shawn Mullins, Erick Baker, and Michelle Malone, and saw some fantastic shows of artists such as Joan Osborne, Dawes, and Delta Rae.

The week is made up of days at sea, and trips to some islands. This year the ship docked in San Juan, Antigua and Tortola.

Tortola was my favorite, with its white sandy beaches and clear blue water. And despite my perhaps over-active fear of sharks, I even dared to take a swim and survived to tell the tale!

One of Tortola’s highlights for me was a special local cocktail called a “Painkiller” that was made from rum, orange juice and coconut, with a little fresh nutmeg added at the end. They were totally delicious and dangerously more-ish!

painkiller recipe from british virgin islands

To share a bit of Cayamo’s magic, I have made a photo-video using some of my photos and some sent to me by friends.

I hope you enjoy it!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s not too late for New Years Resolutions…as long as they’re fun!

funny new years resolutions

 

As the first weeks of the New Year pass by, those New Years Resolutions that were set leading up to Christmas are probably already getting some of us down. Plans that seemed so virtuous now just seem like a drag. So I thought I would share some more easily kept New Years Resolutions that are just a little bit more fun!

Tagged , , ,

Keep “Keep Calm and Carry On” For Everyone

keep_calm_is_not_a_trade_markjpg

In 1939 an unknown Civil Servant working for the British Government designed a poster that would not only give hope and encouragement to citizens during WWII but would go on to become one of the most recognisable and iconic images of the last 70 years.

The “Keep Calm and Carry On” slogan has been adapted the world over, constantly popping up around the UK, from The London Olympics to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee street parties to bakery shop windows urging customers to “Keep Calm and Eat Some Cake”.

I even created my own version of the poster with the slogan “Keep Calm and Listen To Callaghan”!

keep calm and listen to callaghan poster

The intention of the wartime propaganda poster was to raise the morale of the British public in the event of a Nazi invasion. And the sense that it conveys of urging communities to pull together and encourage hope still rings through.

In 2000, an original copy of the poster was discovered in Barter Books, a secondhand book shop in the North of England, by the store owners, Stuart and Mary Manley. The ubiquitous nature of the image over the last decade is largely down to the fact that they decided to start reprinting and selling posters from their shop.

Up until recently there have been no restrictions on people reproducing the “Keep Calm and Carry On” design, or creating versions of their own as it is deemed to be in the public domain.

That was until 2011 when Mark Coop of UK-based company Keep Calm and Carry On Ltd registered an EU trademark in an attempt to take ownership of the very British and newly famous image. Although his application was turned down in the UK, he is now attempting the same in the European Union, the US and Canada. If granted, this would mean his company had sole rights to reproduce this image.

Some feel that not only is this wrong due to the fact that Mark Coop did not himself design the poster, but also because it takes away the very meaning and spirit behind this piece of artwork. It was created for the public and should be left for the public to enjoy.

If you would like to object to the trademark, you can sign the petition on the campaign website here: http://keepcalmcampaign.co.uk/

Let’s try and keep “Keep Calm and Carry On” available to everyone!

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Callaghan’s 12 Days (Videos) of Christmas – Part 2

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and is looking forward to a fantastic New Year.

To continue with my “12 Days (Videos) of Christmas” project, here is another video. This is a live recording of my song “Green Eyes”. It was written as an anniversary present to my husband and was originally called “Blue Eyes” until I sang it to him for the first time and realised his eyes were actually green!

So the title was quickly changed, and it’s now one of my favourite and most requested songs at my shows.

I hope you enjoy it, and that 2013 brings lots of good things for everyone!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Callaghan’s 12 Days (Videos) of Christmas!

Not long to go before the holidays. I hope everyone’s looking forward to some rest and relaxation!

As a thank you for all the support people have given me and my music over the year, I’m giving the best present I can think of – more music!

I’m doing my very own “12 Videos of Christmas”, starting today,  live from my living room!

The first video is my favourite Christmas hymn, “O Holy Night”. I’ve been performing it as the encore in a couple of recent shows and people have been asking for it – so here it is!

Tomorrow’s video will be one of my new songs.

You can watch the video now on my Facebook Page  where I’ll be posting more in the days ahead.

All these videos, and more are also on my youtube channel.

Hope you and your families all have wonderful holidays!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

What Is It About Christmas Music That Makes You Want To Poke Sharp Objects In Your Ears?!

Young woman wearing Santa's hat is screaming.

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year
With the kids jingle belling
And everyone telling you “Be of good cheer”
It’s the most wonderful time of the year”

Well, Andy Williams, sometimes it doesn’t feel like the “hap-happiest season of all” when the local radio and in-store music stations have offered you countless variations of “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” or “Do You Hear What I Hear?” and it’s not even lunch time yet.

Amazingly, the song that tops the list of most performed Christmas songs, aptly titled “The Christmas Song”, has been covered over 109 times (I lost the will to continue once I’d counted to 109). This particular holiday song is by no means the most annoying though. I think it’s one of the good ones, although I decided not to sample Daffy Duck’s version.

It’s not that Christmas music is a bad thing. In the right setting, and produced well it can put you in a wonderfully festive mood. But tuning into any radio station, or walking into a store in the months leading up to Christmas I am left with the overwhelming impression that these organizations all possess the same 10-track Christmas CD and have been given instructions to play it on a loop until eventually people can take no more! I cannot even imagine what it must be like to work in one of these stores around the holidays, but I’m pretty sure it could be classified as a form of mental torture.

I think the problem may be even worse in my home country of England than the USA. Because we don’t have Thanksgiving or do much to mark the occasion of Halloween, preparations for Christmas sometimes begin as early as September so the music on a loop starts then too. The strange thing is, after two Christmases spent in the USA, I have actually begun to miss the songs that drove me so crazy in the UK. I’d never really thought about it before moving to the US, but Christmas Songs are innately part of the culture of each country. There are songs played over here that I’d never heard before and British Christmas tunes that never get a look in. I don’t think any of my American friends have experienced the festive joy of hearing Noddy Holder of 70’s UK-rock band Slade scream “It’s Christmas!” at the top of his lungs before launching into “Merry Xmas Everybody“, nor have they heard the lyrical genius of The Darkness’s hit tune “Christmas Time, Don’t Let The Bells End” or Cliff Richard’s crooning over his classic “Mistletoe & Wine“. And no Christmas journey was ever complete without hearing Chris Rea’s “Driving Home For Christmas“.

So maybe this proves my point that it’s not the songs themselves that people grow to hate, but how many of the same songs they are subjected to each year. Perhaps the radio stations and the stores need to branch out a bit more and treat their listeners and shoppers to a new Christmas tune once in a while.

In the interests of bringing new Christmas songs into the world, here is my offering. This is a video for my original Christmas song “Snowflakes” featuring people from all over the USA and beyond! I hope you enjoy it, and I hope it doesn’t make you want to rip your ears off this Christmas! Daffy Duck, if you’d like to cut a version of it, please get in touch.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: