Tag Archives: live band

What a week, what a show…Recording my first live CD

It felt good being back in Atlanta again. After so much time on the road and recently spent writing in Nashville I love the opportunity to get back to the city that has become my first American home.

A chance to drive down familiar roads, catch up with friends, and to start rehearsals for my show at The Red Clay Theatre just north of the city, in Duluth.

This was the first week of band rehearsals but preparations for the show had been going on a lot longer. For this show I wanted to push the boundaries and really see what is achievable despite being an independent artist on an independent-sized budget. I wanted the audience to feel like they had seen a big show in the intimate setting of a 250-seat theatre.

I was venturing into areas that I had never been before – designing a lighting plan, timing the set to know how much space was left in between each song, costume changes, as well as recording and filming the whole night.

Luckily I had help. Lots of help from people who I cannot thank enough, and who worked so hard putting the show together with me. I now understand why those arena shows have hundreds of people on the team!

The day of the show went by in a blur. It reminded me a bit of how on your wedding day people tell you to take a step back and enjoy the moment. There was so much going on that it was a challenge taking it all in. Because of extra time needed sound-checking for the actual show and for the recording, as well as a few issues with positioning the new grand piano and a guitar breaking, I was still on stage at 6pm, only an hour before the doors were opening.

And I still had to film backstage interviews, get dressed, go through vocal warm ups, and eat some dinner! This is so often the scene before a show though, and there was so much riding on this particular one it was hard to relax. Somehow it all got done, and I was there right on time to walk onto the stage for the first song – a cover of Johnny Cash’s “Walk The Line”.

The set list for the whole show was:

Walk The Line / Folsom Prison
Look Around
Sweet Surrender
Smile
Close My Eyes
Love Me For A While
Piece of My Heart
Get Me Through Tonight
The Edge of Love
It Was Meant To Be
Green Eyes
Alone
Lost
Over The Rainbow
The Only Thing Real
Noah’s Song
To Be Loved By You
Best Year
At Last


I’m still working out which songs will be on the final live CD which I hope to have available by the end of the year. A good idea for some Christmas presents!

I’ll be putting up some live footage soon on my Website and Facebook page, as well as some photos from the show.

I can honestly say I learnt more from this show than probably all the others I’ve done combined, and maybe there are some things I’d change next time, but that’s what performing is all about. Learning and improving. And I can’t wait for the chance to do the next one…I’m already thinking of new ways to make it even bigger!

I’d like to say a big thanks to the team who helped bring the show to life:

Kip Connor – Recording 

Shalom Aberle – House sound, Red Clay Theatre

Eddie Owen – Owner

Zach Wetzel – Lights

Steve Sherrick – Videographer

Jolene Eyre – Wardrobe/ Styling

Lisa Stephenson – Hair styling

Scott Lowden – Photography

And to my wonderful band!

Tom “Panda” Ryan – Bass, Backing Vocals, Musical Director of the band

Jon Poole – Drums

Davis Causey – Electric Guitar

Jeff Box – Keyboards

Shannon Cochran – Acoustic/ Electric guitar

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A thought for those hit by the storm…

Unfortunately the joy of the weekend was followed by Hurricane Sandy – and it was shocking to see the devastation that unfolded in towns and cities where I have enjoyed playing shows and meeting people. I hope individuals and communities who have lost possessions, homes and even loved ones, will find the strength to get through a very difficult time.

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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
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