Tag Archives: music

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.

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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.

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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!

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“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

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What’s Country in one country might not be Country in another…

 

One of my earliest memories is being taken to a John Denver concert when I was aged 5. I didn’t really know who he was, other than that he sang songs I liked singing along to in the car, like Grandma’s Feather Bed and Thank God I’m a Country Boy. In fact, as my parents like to remind me now, I was so overwhelmed by the event that I fell asleep after a couple of songs. I think that had more to do with being 5 than the music!

I remember the day at school when I found out John Denver had died in a plane crash. I was really upset and couldn’t understand why my other classmates were not only not upset, but had no idea who he was.

In the UK, Country music just wasn’t a part of my generation’s culture, and for many people it conjured up an image of people singing about their tractors and guns. Not things most teenagers in the UK could relate to I guess.

The strange thing is that Country influences a lot of popular music in the UK, but for a long time it was just never considered “cool”.

The times seem to be changing in the UK as more people are discovering that country music has many different sides and ranges from country and western, to bluegrass, to a hybrid of country, rock and pop. It helps that shows like Bob Harris Country on BBC Radio 2 open people’s ears to the infinite variety of the genre – Bob’s show has helped me discover some great artists like Tift Merritt, Carolina Chocolate Drops and Hank Snow.  http://www.bobharris.org/pages/default.asp

I have found out since moving to the US that the British and American ideas of what constitutes country music are surprisingly different. Many people back home in the UK called the music I make Country, I never really saw it that way. It has plenty of American influences and some rootsy sounds, but I don’t think you could call it Country. Interestingly, American audiences don’t ever seem to think of my music as Country. Perhaps because the country music industry and radio over here are so ingrained in the culture, people have a more definite idea of what’s Country, Folk, Americana or Pop.

But the line is becoming ever more blurred as the The Civil Wars recently demonstrated when they were nominated for awards in both the Folk and Country category at the Grammys, and lots of other musicians make records which could fit into two or more categories.

So maybe even the industry is finding it more difficult to see where the lines are drawn.

I think that’s a positive thing – we can all get too hung up on what label music is given and whether that genre is in fashion or not. I think if a song moves you in some way, then listen to it and enjoy it.

Anyway, even if you’re adamant that country music is not for you, I bet you can’t help smiling at a couple of these lyrics from some real country songs…

“It takes a whole lot of liquor to like her But when I’m liquored up, I like her just fine”

“I don’t know whether to kill myself or go bowling”

“When you see a deer you see Bambi, I see antlers up on the wall”

“If Whiskey Were A Woman, I’d Be Married For Sure”

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