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Reviews

Callaghan Callaghan
Album: Callaghan's Acoustic Coffee House, Vol.2
Label: Green Town
Tracks: 12
Website: http://www.callaghansongs.com

It has felt a while since we had new music from the UK's own Callaghan. Acoustic Coffee House Volume 2 is a 12 track album to follow on from Acoustic Coffee House. The artwork is stunning.

The thing about Callaghan is her style is hard to define. Ultimately it comes down to this; she has a gorgeous voice and makes fabulous music. This album is no exception.

Recorded in Nashville and Atlanta, it was produced by Greg LaFollette. Callaghan, aswell as vocals, provides piano, wurlitzer and acoustic guitar, ukulele and backing vocals. Dan Snyder continues keyboards, guitalele and backing vocals, Mike Gallagher adds acoustic guitar, electric guitar and backing vocals, Vanessa Olivarez offers some striking backing Vocals aswell as precision and Erick Baker steps in with vocals and acoustic guitar. Together, they create a beautiful musical backdrop and harmonies which allow Callaghan's effortless vocals to slip through the spaces between like a knife through butter.

The record includes stripped back versions of Callaghan's own songs and some covers of some of her personal favourites. This offers an insight into her as a music lover as much as an artist. Among them are James Taylor's Fire and Rain and Buddy Holly's Raining in my Heart. The beauty of these covers is that she makes them her own whilst retaining their integrity.

Of the original songs featured, there are two excellent duets: Tennessee artist Erick Baker performs with her on their co-write, Unspoken Words, Love Hurts, recorded with co-writer Shawn Mullins. Other standout tracks include I Was Made for You and Unspoken Words.

The album draws to a close with four live tracks from a show at Georgia's Red Clay Music Foundry,; among them originals such as Broken alongside a cover of Coldplay's U.F.O. The latter is stripped back, beautiful and perfectly fits the intimate theme of a coffee shop; though in reality, wherever you are lucky to see Callaghan perform, it remains very intimate.

To that end, she is performing across the UK in April. Don't miss the chance to see her perform this beautiful selection of new songs live.

Major standouts on the record include the gorgeously stripped back 'U.F.O which was recorded live in Atlanta, it offers a beautiful country vibe and embodies the whole albums aesthetics with a simple production allowing for Callaghan's soaring vocals to shine.

Whilst the heartfelt 'Raining In My Heart' delivers a melancholy artistic offering that symbolises the sadder sonic sound that can be found throughout the CD – these types of sad yet beautiful songs will always have a place in country music and this one is simply stunning.

Another favourite on the LP is the toe-tapping 'I Was Made For You' – it has a funky, fun and feel-good production that allows the record to drive into new avenues and makes sure it never sits still. It also shows the lighthearted side of Callaghan and showcases she is able to cover all basis within country.

Meanwhile the breathtaking duet with Shawn Mullins titled 'Love Hurts' is one that will pull at the heartstrings and make you feel something deep within your soul – vocally this is the major highlight on the Coffee House album and the harmonies between these two is something truly magical.

Helen Mitchell