A Preview of the Best Year
“And I feel the good times coming,
And I see a new sun rising
Don’t wait it’s on the horizon
This could be, the best year of our lives”
This lyric is from a song on Callaghan’s 2011 album Life in Full Colour, which was written shortly after her life-altering move from London to the Southern United States. The song has been re-recorded for her forthcoming album, A History of Now, and as she sang the words, just one song into the first show of her album preview tour, it was clear that these words were as relevant today as they were when they were written.
Callaghan’s music is a pleasing mix of pop and Americana music, but it is her extraordinary voice that truly sets the music apart. She demonstrated her vocal prowess with the first of three covers of her set, an uplifting version of “Piece of My Heart” which was most famously sung by Janis Joplin in a 1968 cover recorded by Big Brother and the Holding Company.
She told a humorous story about writing a song for her husband called “Blue Eyes” and realizing as she sang it to him, that he actually had green eyes. She then sang “Green Eyes” from the new album.
In all, the 15-song set included ten songs (all but two) from the new album, a pair of songs from Life in Full Colour, and three well-chosen covers which served to highlight her vocal and musical range. Her cover of the Johnny Cash song “Folsom Prison Blues” included audience participation on train sounds. And her cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain” was nothing short of stunning.
Highlights among the new songs were a sweet song written for her nephew called “Noah’s Song,” the stirring “Last Song,” and the pop-oriented show opener “Crazy Beautiful Life.”
Callaghan was backed by Mike Gallagher on guitar and Dave Cohen on keyboards and accordion. She was joined on a few songs by country singer Lari White, who co-wrote one of the songs on The History of Now.
Nashville duo Granville Automatic opened the show with their unique brand of history-laden alt-country music.