Callaghan – An Artist You Need To Know
So, you’re an ambitious and talented independent singer/songwriter who has just recorded your first album. You’re thinking about touring, but few people have heard of you. What do you do? You’ll probably work out how much of your own money it’ll take to pull the tour together, wince and think hmmm, maybe not…
Not if your name is Callaghan, however.
Georgina Callaghan (to use her full name) travelled from Boston in her native England to the US, where she recorded her debut album ‘Life In Full Colour’ with Shawn Mullins. Upon it’s release in 2012, Callaghan was obviously keen to get out and play her new material to as many people as possible. But the USA is a very big place and she was a virtual unknown at the time. So her desire to tour had to be tempered with the reality confronting every independent artist – touring had to make financial sense.
The solution was ‘house shows’. Not a concept that’ll be familiar to many of us in the UK, but it is something which has become increasingly used by independent artists in the US in recent years. The idea is extremely simple: A music enthusiast hosts a show in their house and invites their friends and other music enthusiasts to come along to hear the artist play. At the end of the show, they all make a donation to help the artist continue to tour and obviously the artist can sell records and merchandise to the audience.
Callaghan has taken this concept to a different level, having completed three coast to coast US tours since 2013. These tours have helped Callaghan sell in excess of 10,000 copies of her album and build a huge database of dedicated fans. Fans who – incidentally – helped to crowdfund the production of Callaghan’s latest album ‘A History of Now’. Ultimately this model enables Callaghan to retain complete financial and artistic control of her own career. In an age when too many people sit around waiting for success to find them, how good is it to see someone grabbing the bull by the horns and shaping her own destiny?
And Callaghan is starting to make an impact in this country too. Her recent single ‘Best Year’ was playlisted on Radio 2 thanks to great support from the likes of Bob Harris, Steve Wright, Jeremy Vine and Jonathan Ross. I’ve embedded a link to the official video below so you can have a listen for yourselves. Hope Callaghan doesn’t mind!
Callaghan is bringing her House Tour to the UK this month and YOU can even host a show by getting in touch with @callaghanmusic on Twitter. Other public shows include:
Sat July 18 – Summertyne Fest – Sage, Gateshead
Thurs July 23 – Country Collective, Canary Wharf, London
Saturday July 25 – The Secret Garden Party
Thursday July 30 – Cambridge Folk Festival
Her new single ‘We Don’t Have to Change the World’ is out July 17.