Why country music ?
~ I grew up listening to a lot of country music as well as playing and singing Irish music so, although I wouldn’t describe my own music as traditional country, I’ve always felt a strong connection to it. My dad is the one who really introduced me to country music. Growing up our house was full of American music by Johnny Cash, John Denver, Buddy Holly, Hank Williams and others. Dad plays guitar and banjo himself. He taught me my first chords and always encouraged lots of music at home in family jam sessions!
Is your UK background a blessing or a curse now you are breaking through in the USA with an americana/folk/country repertoire
~ My background makes me a little unusual – which is a good thing. The fact that I am from the UK and have a slightly different musical and cultural background to local musicians means that the songs I write sound a little different. People are intrigued by someone from another country and US audiences are very warm and supportive of someone who has moved over and is taking a chance on following her dreams.
If everything would be possible (waking the dead included) , which two people should sing the ultimate country duet?
~ Johnny Cash and Buddy Holly. Two of my favourite artists, and I think that would create something interesting!
What song you ever recorded means the most to you and why?
~ The song "Best Year" means a lot as I wrote it about 6 months after moving to the US and it really sums up the feeling at the time of leaving everything behind, taking a chance and following your dream. When I sing that song I always remember that you only live once, and sometimes it pays to take a risk.
If you could choose one artist to record one of your songs, who would it be.
~ There’s a song on my album called "Look Around" which some people have told me would be great for Rascal Flatts. I would love that! That would definitely be cool.
Whisky wine beer or water?
~ That definitely depends on the situation! I’m not a whiskey drinker at all, although I have enjoyed some whiskey moonshine in Tennessee. I can definitely enjoy having a few beers when I’m doing a show (preferably after the show so I can still remember the words!) but my absolute favourite drink is prosecco. That’s not too easy to find at most venues though!
If you could turn back time to make only one change, what would you change?
~ I wouldn’t change anything in my life. I think everything that has happened, good and bad, has lead me to the place I’m at now and given me experiences to learn from and write songs about. Being here, touring the USA and making a living from music is just wonderful.
What is the question interviewers never seem to ask you and…you wish they would? (Please provide your answer as well.)
~ Where they can get my album! It will be officially released in Feb 2012, but you can get copies right now from my website callaghansongs.com
Describe the ultimate recording studio (not the technique but the facilities)
~ I’m still learning about the technical side of the process and the technology you need. Shawn Mullins and the fabulous drummer and engineer Gerry Hansen, took care of all that side of things masterfully on the latest recording. So I guess to enjoy making the music I would like an ideal studio to provide a relaxed setting, where you could gather a great group of musicians, reach out and pick up fantastic instruments and have fun jamming. There would have to be good tea available during the day, good Pizza available for lunch and prosecco later in the day – and some Miller Lite for my guitarist buddy Davis Causey.
Johnny or June ?
~ Johnny. I’m a huge Johnny Cash fan and do a version of his song "Folsom Prison Blues" at most of my live shows.
Are you still nervous before going on stage and if so, do you use any “rituals” to calm you nerves.
~ I’m not as nervous as I used to be when I was younger which I think is due to performing a lot more often. I still get some butterflies, but I wouldn’t want to lose that feeling. I think if you’re about to go on stage and entertain a room full of people and you don’t feel anything, something’s going wrong! Some nerves can get you fired up and help you enjoy it once you’re out there.
What was the most memorable day in your musical career and tell us why.
~ March 26th 2009 – The day that I received an email back from Shawn Mullins telling me he wanted to hear some more of my songs and was interested in producing my album. Recording my album with Shawn as well as being able to tour a lot of the US with him has given me so many opportunities and experiences that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I’m sure he will always be one of the most influential people of my career.