KATE CALLAHAN

KATE CALLAHAN

 Hartford, Connecticut, USA
SoloFolkSinger/Songwriter

"Kate Callahan has garnered an appreciative audience with her easygoing vibe and inspirational, at times mystical lyrics." - The Boston Globe

Biography

A 2015 New England Music Award nominee, Kate Callahan, Connecticut’s “Best Singer-Songwriter 2013” has three albums including her latest release Two Doors, which was featured on WNPR's Where We Live. The Boston Globe says, "Kate Callahan has garnered an appreciative audience with her easygoing vibe and inspirational, at times mystical lyrics."

Callahan’s music feels soulful and she’s unapologetically optimistic in concert. WNPR host Colin McEnroe praised a recent performance, saying, “Kate Callahan is the only performer I’ve ever seen who occasionally seems to be channeling something vaster and far more ancient than herself, something more easily understood by Emerson than by any modern person.”

A songwriting teacher (Center for Creative Youth since 2011), Kate began leading the Miracle of Melody workshop in 2014. She guides participants through vocal improvisation, circle singing, heart-centered sharing, sounding, and vocal grounding techniques.

Kate is a natural performer. Her stage credits include appearances at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artists Showcase, the New Haven Festival of Arts and Ideas, and the CT Folk Festival. She was a finalist in the South Florida Folk Festival Songwriting Competition 2014. In 2015 she studied vocal improvisation and Circlesongs with Bobby McFerrin and his incredible staff. She has opened shows for folk legends Judy Collins and Noel Paul Stookey (Peter, Paul, and Mary), troubadours Aztec Two-Step, John Gorka, Mustard’s Retreat, and the late Bill Morrissey. She has also shared stages with folk-rock artists Rachael Sage and Regina Spektor. Stookey calls Callahan "real" and says her lyrics are "Zen-like."

The Boston Globe calls Kate "An award-winning singer who rose from a calamitous injury to claim her creative life."  At the age of nineteen, she sustained traumatic brain injury in a skiing accident. She had to withdraw from college and rehabilitate five days a week for a year until her insurance ran out. Her doctors told her she had plateaued. Callahan knew she had more desire to heal than the doctors could see, so she took up acoustic guitar lessons. Her short-term memory was so impaired that she couldn’t remember that she was taking lessons from week to week. Over time, however, she began to remember and saw improvements in her coordination, eyesight, and guitar playing. She began writing songs soon after that and felt compelled to share them with small audiences at open mics. Open mics turned into features, opening sets, and headlining appearances at venues throughout the United States.

Callahan says she writes songs that “become conduits between heaven and earth.” Swing Low quotes the well-known African-American spiritual, surrounding its anthem with three short windows into climactic experiences of life and death.

Swing Low was produced by Jim Chapdelaine, a Grammy nominated and Emmy award-winning producer. The song features Callahan on vocals and acoustic guitar, Chapdelaine on electric guitar, drummer Lorne Entress (Lori McKenna, Catie Curtis, Mark Erelli), and bassist Paul Kochanski (Lori McKenna, The Shinolas).

Since the turn of the millennium, Kate has won the Hartford Advocate’s “Best Solo Performer” award three times. She was also awarded the Hartford Courant's "Woman of Character Award” for her involvement in schools and on stages and met Jane Fonda when she received that award.  The Greater Hartford Arts Council chose Kate as the prestigious United Arts Campaign’s Featured Music Artist of 2014.  She has appeared on WNPR ‘s The Colin McEnroe Show to talk about the rise of folk music, Connecticut’s Hartfolk Festival, and the her personal experience with the healing power of music.  She has also appeared on WNPR’s Where We Live discussing the music of Joni Mitchell, the Mitchell inspired book Gathered Light, and also in promotion of her album Two Doors.

 

Lyrics

Half Moon

Written By: Kate Callahan

I could laugh all day / could break ice cubes with my teeth and lie around / maybe take a walk ‘round the block where I live / just me and the mid-day

But a car slows down by the old IGA abandoned building no one took down / looks like you could use a ride somewhere?
And the car is not really a car / it's just a question of staying stuck or moving / and the driver is another love affair.

If we love like we'll never get hurt / squeeze hands like it's really gonna work this time / and don’t read through the last chapter first / collide without a crash / seal a message in a bottle made of glass to be discovered by only me.

Then maybe we’d write a song together
And eat blueberries by the old oil drums
Andyou'd take over when my eyes were half moons
Just you and the mid-day.

But tonight the eyes of the bravest man in the room is a stranger /
And the music is a little black dress / And the man is not really a man / he's just a question of giving in or knowing / that the sweetest invitation is a test.

And we're gonna be reminded / of how it all began / and I'll put it all behind me / so I can love here / again and again and again

Swing Low

Written By: Kate Callahan

I looked in the headlights
Saw you on the edge
And God just below you
Ready to catch

And height has a way with
Making you small
And dying gets you larger
After the fall

Swing low, sweet chariot, coming for to carry me home

You drink down the sugar
Its sweet on the mouth
And you lay with your baby
And love her out loud

Wake up amazing
Calling it grace
‘cause you died there together
face to face.

Swing low…

I’m asking God now
To take me home
Because all I ever was and will be
Is a soul

And this was one way
To open up
And it’s so beautiful to finally feel love

And I say swing low….
(repeat)

Yes

Written By: Kate Callahan

I’m sittin’ with you on the bench
Your legs are much longer and mine have been swinging underneath
Right in time with the clock.

And something is ticking inside me
It poses no rush it only developed when you came
And we started to talk.
And your questions got me to thinking
Oh well yes, oh yes, I will love with you, live with you
Do this thing with you forever.

Maybe its part of a big plan, or maybe I just can’t deny that your humor delights me
And we both like good wine.
And I’ve got a weakness for children
Of course other people’s I mean, unless you might want one
Or two or three.
And what I’m saying is yes I once was along but now I am you and me.
Oh and I’m laughing cause I heard you hinting that you’d like to marry me.

People will look for the short cuts, but I’ve got a mountain to climb and you really should see this, it’s a beautiful view.
I know you like to absorb things, take in every last bit of knowledge that’s within
Your ear shot, and decide if its true.
And your questions, got me to thinking, oh yes, oh yes, I will love with you
Live with you, do this thing with you for ever
And what I’m saying is yes to answer your question, I’d be more than happy.

Discography

The Influence of Red - LP (2001)

The Greatest of Ease - LP (2003)

Two Doors - LP (2012)