What’s the first gig you ever attended?
It was John Denver when I was 5. My parents were country music fans and they used to play his tapes in the car when my sisters and I were little. Apparently even from the age of 3 or 4 I knew all the words to his songs! Unfortunately, I was so excited about going to the show that I fell asleep before he came on stage, but even now sometimes when I am on a long drive between shows I like to crank up the live recording of that concert as it brings back some great memories for me. Although I wouldn’t describe the music I write as particularly country, I think those early influences have stayed with me and I’m grateful to my parents for introducing me to a lot of music from a young age, everything from Bob Dylan, Elton John, Johnny Cash to The Beatles and Abba!
What is the best gig that you ever played/performed?
There is a festival in Florida that I have played a couple of times called the 30A Songwriters’ Festival. One time I was performing there on the big outdoor stage, the sun was shining, the crowd was amazing and I was looking out over the ocean. That was a pretty magical moment!
Some of the most fun gigs for me though are when I get to perform with the band. I think there’s nothing like the excitement and buzz of performing my songs with a live band and fortunately I get to play with a group of phenomenally talented Georgia musicians who play regularly with Shawn Mullins and who all played on my album. Because most of the shows I do on tour are solo acoustic, I love it when I get together with the band and get to hear the songs played just how they sound on the record. That’s why Saturday’s full band show at the Red Clay Theatre is so exciting for me.
What is the best gig you have ever seen?
I’m not usually a fan of huge concert venues because it can be difficult to connect with the performer, but several years ago while I was living in London I went to see Eminem perform at the Milton Keynes Bowl which is a big outdoor stadium that holds about 65,000 people. The atmosphere was absolutely electric and I couldn’t believe how much energy he had on stage. I wasn’t expecting it, but it was one of the best gigs I’ve been to!
Since coming to the USA the most enjoyable Live Music experience I have had was the Cayamo Cruise. I played on it, but also got to see a who’s who of great songwriters including Shawn Mullins, Chuck Cannon, James McMurtry, John Prine and many more perform.
What is the gig you would most like to play?
Up until recently it would have been SXSW as that was a big ambition of mine, and I got to perform there this year which was fantastic. I like the idea of playing a gig where I could really be imaginative with the stage show and different outfit changes and special effects. I think part of the experience of seeing a gig is not just what you hear but what you see as well, so I’d have fun getting to do a gig on a big stage with an unlimited budget where I could really be inventive!
What would be the lineup for your dream gig?
I’m a huge Elton John fan so I would love to be able to do a gig with him. I also love Coldplay so it would be cool to have them on the line up! I’d also really like to bring Freddie Mercury back and have him on the bill too and as we’re aiming high, let’s get Buddy Holly in too! Why not dream big hey?!
Catch Callaghan Saturday, Jan. 6th at Eddie’s Attic