Tag Archives: British

Back to Reality…An East Coast Tour, and a Live CD show

Callaghan East Coast Tour 2012

After taking 3 weeks off to visit friends and family in London, I am re-adjusting to life back in the US and getting straight back to my job of performing and making music.

I don’t often take breaks – partly because there are constantly too many things on my list to do! – but this one I think was well earned. After countless shows over the last few months to promote my album “Life in Full Colour” I was ready for some down time.

Touring, I find, is an interesting existence. Each day is carefully planned, so you know what time you have to get up, how many miles to the next venue, what time load in is, where you need to be for soundcheck, what time I’m on stage, meeting people after the show, and then driving to the hotel. Then it all repeats the next day, exactly the same routine, different place.

Assuming everything is going to plan it can be a relatively stress-free time, and getting to do what I love each night sharing my music with an audience gives me immense enjoyment.

But you can’t be on the road all the time, and it’s good to get some breaks from constantly performing to work on my playing, my voice, and to find the time to work on new song ideas.

So, after my mini break, I am very excited to be starting an East Coast tour in a few days with two other performers; Matthew Perryman-Jones and Matthew Mayfield. We’ll be starting the tour in Vienna, VA, and heading all the way up the coast hitting places such as Philadelphia, Boston, New York, Cleveland, Charlotte and finishing up in Asheville, NC.

You can see all of the dates and ticket details on my website www.callaghansongs.com/gigs

There’s also a very special show I’m currently working on for the end of October. On Saturday October 27th I’ll be performing a full band show at The Red Clay Theater just north of Atlanta, GA. It’s a fantastic 250-seat theater and the whole show is going to be recorded for a live CD that I plan to release before Christmas.

As much as I enjoy the acoustic shows I perform, getting to play with the full band is something else. The musicians are mostly from Shawn Mullins’ Band and mind-blowingly awesome! I love getting to experiment when I perform full band shows and do different versions of my songs, as well as some very surprising covers! You can find all the details about the show and get tickets from www.eddieowenpresents.com

Maybe I’ll see some of you there!

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Afternoon Tea at The Ritz – A perfect end to a perfect break

Afternoon Tea at The Ritz, London

London Baby! I’ve been enjoying a couple of weeks rest and relaxation visiting friends and family in my old home town. It’s great being back in a city which never ceases to amaze me in its scale and diversity. It’s been a great time to be back – the feel good factor surrounding the games is still going strong!

London is a city of contrasts in all manner of things. One example would be the weather – you never know what you’re going to get. Last Thursday night I met with friends in a rooftop garden on the Southbank of the Thames – after 10 minutes braving the cold wind we had to go inside, and all agreed that Autumn had come. One week later we were enjoying drinks outside again in hot sunny weather – sometimes it only takes an hour to go from summer to winter, and you have to carry a range of layers to prepare for all eventualities.

I have had two contrasting experiences in the last couple of days doing two old school British things. On Wednesday night I went with friends to a night at the Bingo! A top prize of £20,000 was promised and I was amazed at how quickly experienced players could survey multiple cards, while I was struggling to check all the numbers on my single card. I didn’t get close to winning the big prize, but I enjoyed a good meal of ham, egg and chips! (that’s fries across the pond!)

On Thursday I enjoyed doing something which I think will seem quintessentially British, but which I had never done before – I went for afternoon tea at The Ritz. It was quite an experience.

We were first served champagne (my kind of afternoon tea!) followed by a fantastic range of delicate sandwiches varying from cheese with onion chutney, chicken and horseradish mayonnaise, smoked salmon, and of course the afternoon tea classic – cucumber.

There was a huge selection of different teas to choose from, as well as coffee and hot chocolate.

Then more food…freshly made warm raisin scones served with strawberry jam and clotted cream, as well as a variety of amazing cakes. Just when I thought I couldn’t possibly eat one more crumb, a dessert trolley was wheeled by with two more cakes to choose from – a lemon drizzle cake and a strawberry pistachio cake.

All in all it was just as fantastically indulgent as I had imagined and I’m so glad I finally got the chance to go.

So I didn’t win £20,000 on Wednesday, but I might have gained 20 pounds on Thursday. Even though I may have to spend a few days working up a sweat in the gym once I’m back home, every bite was definitely worth it!

Callaghan with the Commissionaire at The Ritz London

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

Two years into my US adventure, I’m sending Love back to London!

London Olympic Decorations

Flags, flags, flags…The decorations are up for the London 2012 Olympics. Photo by Sharon Addison

Today is exactly two years since I moved to the US.

That time has flown by so fast, and looking back over the last 24 months makes me so pleased I took the plunge and got on the plane to follow my dream of doing music full time. The people I have met, places I have seen and experiences I have had have been amazing.

But there are inevitably things I miss out on from back home in the UK. Events that happen in the lives of friends and family that I’m not involved in like before, TV shows and new celebrities that come and go without me ever being aware of them, and I feel a lot of nostalgia for the streets, sights and sounds of London.

And this week is the start of something very exciting going on in my home town – The Olympics are coming to London.

This will be the third time London has hosted the Olympics – the first two in 1908 and 1948.

Photos have been all over my friends’ facebook pages and I have been scrolling through them all to get a sense of how the city is changing and what the atmosphere is like. Quite a few of my friends are volunteering during the games, and lots have been photographed with the Olympic torch.

The games were awarded back in July 2005 when I was still living in London. I don’t think anyone in the UK will forget that week because the elation of winning the bid on the 6th of July was immediately followed by the heartbreak of the terrorist bombings in the city on July 7th.

For all the stereotypes that exist of the British stiff upper lip and reserve, Londoners joined together to grieve when the bombings happened and are joining together now to  celebrate the huge festival that is the Olympics. I think coming together like that is part of what makes London such a fantastic city.

I’ll be watching the opening ceremonies as they’re streamed across the Atlantic tonight and I can’t wait to see what they have planned.

So, two years after leaving London to start my US adventure I am sending a wish that the sun shines on London and that all my friends in the UK love being a part of the games – and hoping they take lots of photos for me to enjoy too!

p.s. On a funny note, I heard a great story on a British radio programme recently about the “Chap Olympiad”. Held annually in London, the event describes itself as “a celebration of eccentricity and athletic ineptitude with the emphasis on panache and style over sporting prowess”. You can expect events such as the cucumber sandwich discus, umbrella jousting and butler racing. There was one particular event that really caught my eye – ‘The Hop, Skip and G&T’ where contestants leap into a sandpit holding a brimming gin and tonic and get points deducted for spillages. If I start training now, maybe I’ll be lucky enough to win the coveted “golden cravat” next time!

 

Butler racing at the Chap Olympiad

A competitor tries to throw his rival off course during the butler racing event at The Chap Olympiad, London. Photograph: Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images

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

Callaghan meets Callaghan

Of all the gigs I’ve done, it had already started off stranger than the average. The sound equipment wasn’t quite what I had requested because the venue was worried about making too much noise and scaring its residents. Not something you hear every day as a performer, but then not many venues I play in are also home to a couple of 3,000lb beluga whales. And those whales, who were just around the corner from the stage, apparently have sensitive ears, so we kept the noise down just enough for them to enjoy the show.

I was playing at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta along with a couple of friends of mine from Athens GA; Jon Poole on drums and Michael C. Steele on bass. We had a great time doing the show and, it being a rare all ages show, got to enjoy seeing some very cute kids dancing their socks off up at the stage!

After I’d finished a young girl came up to me and asked me for my guitar pick. She didn’t introduce herself but I later got talking to her and her dad and discovered she was the same girl I’d received an email from a few weeks earlier…

She is 8 years old, and her name is also Callaghan. It’s her mother’s maiden name and she was on google searching for people with the same name as her and came across my site. She enjoyed the music she heard and told her dad all about it. He flew the two of them from their New York home just to come to the Aquarium show and so she could meet me. It was such a cool story and she was so sweet.

The name Callaghan is actually kind of rare in the USA. My family were originally O’Callaghan’s but lost the O when they crossed the sea from Ireland to Scotland, then somewhere in the Atlantic many Callaghans lost the G to become Callahans. I’ve met a few Callahans here, come across a couple of towns of that name, and, of course, Dirty Harry is a Callahan. So it was nice to meet another Callaghan.

There was a reporter from Target Audience Magazine at the show and she took the photo below which ended up in her review of the show.

So, the gig where I got to play for some beluga whales and a new friend named Callaghan will be one I won’t forget in a long time…

Callaghan and Callaghan at The Georgia Aquarium
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Being a Brit in the USA – my first 4th of July

Living in a different country to the one you grew up in often means coming across the new and unfamiliar and I seem to write a lot in this blog about the experience of being a Brit living in America.

So I thought I’d share another “first” that I experienced recently…

My first 4th of July

Although I’ve lived in the US for 2 years, last year I was on the road touring and didn’t get to truly have the authentic 4th of July celebration. So, wanting to do things right, I went onto my Facebook Page and asked people how this holiday was best celebrated. The consensus was that it should contain lots of grilling, drinking, and blowing things up. I think I followed that advice pretty closely and spent the evening with some friends eating burgers, drinking good beer and watching a very impressive firework display.

One thing I’ve noticed since living here is that this country has some great holidays, and 4th of July is definitely one of them. Like Thanksgiving, it’s a chance to get together with friends and family, eat good food and have a good time without any of the pressures or commercial aspects that other holidays can bring.

Of course, I know there is also historic tradition and story behind these festivities, and I’m learning more about American history which I find really interesting (particularly since I’ve been tracking the story of my great-great-great Uncle who moved to the States in the 1800s). Being a Brit there were a few gags from people about red coats and historic butt kickin’s, but it was all in good spirits, and some people were surprised to learn that the revolutionaries had attracted many supporters in Britain.

In the Facebook discussion I had many people also said the 4th is an opportunity to pause and be thankful for the place in which you live. So, Happy Birthday to the USA, and thanks for giving me such a lovely home.

I’ll just finish by quoting one Facebook fan, a Brit who has lived here for a while, who made me smile:

“If someone asks you whether you have the 4th of July in the UK, just reply and say “Yes we do, it comes after the 3rd and before the 5th”

I celebrated my 4th in Tennessee this year…I wonder if the celebrations are the same across the USA? Let me know what you think and I can start preparing for next year!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Life in Full Colour #6 – Sweet Surrender

Callaghan "Life in Full Colour"

Blog # 6 – Sweet Surrender

I recently read a review of my album which described Sweet Surrender as a “woe is me” song. It has always interested me the ways people interpret songs and how different they can be from my original intention.

I have no problem with people taking whatever interpretation they feel when listening to one of my songs, in fact I’m just happy they’re listening! I always try and write in a way that isn’t so personal that it excludes someone else’s experience and ability to connect to a song.

Having said that, I found the review I mentioned earlier particularly interesting since it was the exact opposite of what I had intended the song to be about. For me, Sweet Surrender’s message is more ‘woe is you, I’m outta here!’

I’m sure a lot of people who have been in a less-than-ideal relationship can relate to the moment when you realise you’re not going to put up with it anymore and make the decision to walk away. Sometimes it can take quite a bit of determination to leave a bad relationship when there could be so many factors making you want to stay, but once you are free and clear you can gain a new feeling of strength and self-confidence.

I think the last verse of the song sums up the feeling for me:

Waking up alone in this silent motel room
Can’t believe you ever talked me into loving you
But there’s no use trying to turn back
All the time I gave to you
Cos it made me who I am 
Somehow I found the strength to walk away

Life is about taking chances, and a life in full colour has it’s highs and lows all of which contribute to who we are.

I’m happy with that reviewer or any other listener making up their own mind about what the song means to them. I think that’s all part of the power and enjoyment of music.

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

The Countdown to Life in Full Colour #4

Callaghan "Life in Full Colour"

# 4 – It Was Meant To Be

This is my mini blog about each of the songs that make up my debut album, “Life In Full Colour”, and the stories and inspirations behind them. “Life in Full Colour” is released on iTunes May 1st.

In my last blog I mentioned co-writing, and this song “It Was Meant To Be”, happens to be another one of the co-writes on my album. Written with two other writers, one of whom was John Peppard (who also co-wrote the Grammy-winning song “In Another’s Eyes” by Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood).

This song seems to be quite an audience favourite – both at live shows and people telling me it has been played at their wedding, which I think is so cool!

“It Was Meant To Be” is an unadulterated, simple, straight-from-the-heart love song about the moment when you feel all the stars align and everything falls into place.

The song was written several years ago and has been recorded a few times in various different ways – stripped back and slowed right down on the piano (as on my EP “Nothing You Say”) to the full band version on the album. I really love the album recording and had great fun experimenting in the studio with new sounds like mellotron.

I’m sometimes asked what it’s like to sing the same song over and over again. I have no idea how many times I have sung “It Was Meant To Be” but it’s probably in the thousands. There must be something special about this song though because I get something different from it each time I perform it. I have a feeling I’m still going to be singing it years from now and I hope it continues to connect with the people who hear it.

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

Countdown to “Life in full colour” #3

Callaghan-banner Life in Full Colour

# 3 – Nothing You Say

This is my mini blog about each of the songs that make up my debut album, “Life In Full Colour”, and the stories and inspirations behind them. “Life in Full Colour” is released on iTunes May 1st.

“Nothing You Say” is one of the older songs on the album. It was written several years back with a friend and very talented keyboard player called Luke Juby.

Luke and I wrote quite a few songs together – another co-write “If only for tonight” is also on this album.

Although I write a lot of songs on my own, I really enjoy co-writing because of the different places it can take you to. When you’re working with someone else or even several co-writers at once, ideas, stories, outlooks on life, opinions, emotions can all be multiplied. Of course, you don’t want to have too many writers on one song – the old “too many cooks…” saying probably applies quite well. But whenever I co-write I usually end up with a song that is definitely different than it would have been if I had written it completely solo.

One thing that’s interesting on this particular song is the piano part. The piano track that you hear on the finished album track is actually the very same one that was on the original demo for this song. And it’s pretty much because at the time of recording the album I wasn’t able to find any keyboard player that could play Luke’s part! When I perform the song live I do my own version on the piano, there’s no way I’d attempt what Luke plays. He has a style all his own and it’s part of what brings such an interesting feel to this song.

“Nothing You Say” was also the title track of an earlier EP I released on iTunes a few years back. But it was such a special song I knew I had to give it its rightful place on the album.

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

The countdown to “Life In Full Colour” begins!

Callaghan "Life in Full Colour"

 

Blog #1 – BEST YEAR 

My album, Life in Full Colour, is going to be fully released on May 1st!

It feels fantastic to be able to say that, as it’s been a long journey that has brought me here. Some of you may be wondering why I’m announcing that the album is out on May 1st when you’re already listening to your copy! Well, to begin with I made the album available only at live shows and through a very limited preview order from my website. Because I am a completely independent musician putting the album out as a limited release for a while has allowed me to raise some money and spend some time building the team I need to get the record out there. So the good news is that now I’m getting a lot of press coverage, my single Best Year is getting a lot of air play across the USA and I’m gigging all the time. The best news is that from May 1st Life in Full Colour will be available on iTunes, Amazon, my website, live shows…everywhere you can think of!

So thanks a million to all of you super keen music fans who bought Life in Full Colour at a show, as I really could not do this without you, and for those of you who don’t have your copy yet, there won’t be long to wait now!

Leading up to the release date I am going to write a short blog about each of the songs on the album, why they were chosen and the stories and inspiration behind them.

And thinking about my earlier mention of journeys brings me nicely onto song number one – “Best Year”. This song was written about 6 months after moving to the US from London. It was a big decision to “fly across an ocean, move 1,000 miles from home” as the song says. It was definitely not easy leaving friends and family behind and taking the plunge to start my music career over in the USA, not knowing how successful I would be or what welcome I would get.

Thankfully I couldn’t have asked for more. The welcome here has been absolutely amazing and I have been encouraged and supported by everyone I have met along the way.

I began recording my album after moving here in 2010 and “Best Year” was one of the later songs we recorded. I was making a short list of all the songs that would end up on the finished record and knew that I wanted to include a few more uptempo songs to balance out the overall sound. “Best Year” almost wrote itself really – there were so many different emotions flying around at the time – excitement, anticipation, being homesick, wondering about the future, and an over whelming feeling of freedom after making the decision to follow my dream.

“Best Year” is always a great song to sing live because it has such a positive energy. I can feel it going right through me and into the audience. I love hearing people’s stories after the show about how the song has inspired them to take a risk on something or follow a dream of their own.

That line about ‘move a thousand miles from home’ is interesting to me now. When I wrote it a thousand miles seemed like a huge distance, now I’m getting used to the scale of touring the USA, I sometimes travel a thousand miles in a day when I’m starting or ending a tour.

I think that “Best Year” is going to be like a little time capsule for me – each time I listen to it, even years from now, it will always bring me back to the moment when I realised you’re only given one life and you’ve got to take every opportunity to make the most of it!

——————————————————————————————–

“Best Year” is the first single from the album “Life in Full Colour”. It is currently available as a free download from www.noisetrade.com/callaghan

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