Check out our interview with Canadian Singer/Songwriter Callie McCullough in celebration of her 2021 Canada CCMA award nomination for her album ‘After Midnight’ (Best Alternative Country Album).
“Three Quarter Time” is a traditional country/roots ballad which showcases McCullough’s own sonic identity, encapsulating the legends who came before her and her deep appreciation for their ground-breaking legacies.
McCullough co-wrote “Three Quarter Time” with Scotty Kiper and Ryan Sorestad, and features key members from Nashville’s Grammy winning bands Union Station (Alison Krauss) and The Time Jumpers (Vince Gill). The legendary Stuart Duncan (Dolly Parton, George Straight, Emmylou Harris, Guy Clark, Reba McEntire) on fiddle, crying steel guitar by Russ Pahl, Jeff Taylor twinkling the keys, Barry Bales and Billy Thomas on bass and drums, and a gorgeous acoustic guitar intro by Producer Dustin Olyan.
The on-going success of ‘After Midnight’ has garnered McCullough two 2021 Country Music of Ontario Award nominations for “Rising Star” and “Songwriters of the Year”.
Follow Callie @calliemcmusic
Listen Three Quarter Time Here!
Hi Callie, please tell us a little about you?
Hey Guys! Thanks so much for having me!
I’m a Singer/Songwriter by trade…but I’m also the girl that says the thing you’re not supposed to say but everyone is thinking, maybe a little too loud, love my family more than anything, recently have gone full cat-lady (just one cat for now) buy more shoes than I can afford, terrible driver, always cracking a joke, prefer to talk about real stuff, inside I’m a 90 year old lady who wants to drink tea, but also go skydiving…
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Honest, Strong-willed, Light-hearted
How did you get started in the business?
Well, I was basically born into it…my parents were both full time musicians and I grew up backstage. Despite their hopes that I would pick an easier path I just started booking my own gigs by the time I was 14.
How has this changed your life?
Well, I think I always knew my life would be chasing music…but I really had no idea what that would look like or where it would take me…I’ve been all over the world playing music and plan to see many more places, I’ve met some of my favorite humans making music…also had my highest ecstatic highs and most broken crying on the floor can’t pay the phone bill moments…it’s a ride for sure..
We’re sure you have been asked this million times but how did you get in the industry?
I’d been making up my own songs and singing since I was a little kid. There was always music around the house, I think I went into the studio for the first time with my dad when I was 11. It was always a part of my life, so I was out playing gigs pretty young and just kept putting one foot in front of the other. Before making the move to Nashville I had been touring for years in several bands and visiting town, eventually I just put my stuff in a station wagon, drove here and never looked back.
Describe your sound in 3 words?
Songs with Feelings
Who influenced you and why did you choose to make music?
“Decided” to do it because I couldn’t not…So many influences…my Parents…my Uncles…Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Carol King, Pam Tillis, Eva Cassidy, Simon and Garfunkel, The Kendalls, Don Williams and so many more…
Do you play any instrument?
I play guitar….and then I play a little mandolin, banjo and piano badly…so guitar ..
Do you ever get nervous?
Every once and awhile it will hit out of the blue
Tell us about your new single “Three Quarter Time?”
I love this song, it’s really the story of my years in Nashville…it’s about grinding it out as a musician in town, my love of Traditional Country Music, Roots music and my everlasting penchant for sad songs..it’s about fighting the good fight to make the music you love, despite the trends…we brought it to life with twin fiddles, steel guitar and all those traditional sounds that I love.
What’s the story behind the song?
Well, one night I was playing downtown Nashville, I turned over the tip jar and out rolled a nickel and four pennies…nine cents, not a dime…
The very next day I was sitting in my living room with two of my best friends Ryan Sorestad and Scotty Kipfer and I told them the tip jar story…and that’s how we got the song..every lyric in this song is something that really happened to me over the past few years…the good, the bad and the ridiculous all wrapped up in a waltz 🙂
What is the feeling for the 2021 Canada CCMA award nomination for her album ‘After Midnight’ (Best Alternative Country Album)? That’s amazing. Congrats! 🙂
Honestly it’s pretty great. I made the record I wanted to make with some of my favorite people in the world, and we’re proud of it.
These songs are my stories and I love how we were able to bring them to life…to be recognized at home in Canada by the Awards I grew up watching as a kid is just the cherry on top 🙂
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
Making things…bringing songs into the world, bringing them to life in the studio, sharing them and connecting with an audience, making videos as pieces of art…
What book should every entrepreneur read?
The Secret…every human really
What would say are the greatest lessons you learned so far?
Learn to save money, never compromise your integrity, do what you say you’re going to do, mean what you say.
Those aren’t industry lessons- I got those on my grandparents farm and they haven’t let me down yet..
How would your best friend describe you?
A little insane, funny, down to earth
If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?
“Voice of an Angel, Mouth of a Trucker” Well, if you met me…
What’s next for Callie McCullough in the last months of 2021 and for 2022?
Well, headed up to Canada for a couple shows and CCMA week…Three Quarter Time the single comes out tomorrow…Christmas with my family and 2 weeks of unplugging, then releasing the Three Quarter Time video in January which I’m super stoked about, then it’s the usual, making new music and playing shows… hoping the world stays open and it’s all good!
What is your favorite healthy food?
Salad…hate me yet?
And your favorite cheat food?
Well I’m into just food- no guilt. But Mexican, always Mexican
How would you explain your fashion style?
Carrie Bradshaw made a Bluegrass Album
What is your own definition of happiness?
My cat and/or my Aunt and Uncle’s horse Farm
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
My Grampa, again. Love to have just one more dinner..
Best advice ever given?
Not to put too much stock in other people’s advice..
Do you support any charity?
Any and all animal rescue…save the Pets!
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
Touring theatres, making records, writing songs, still making music I love, collaborating with Artists and Musicians and writers I respect…the same path but further along.. getting to travel the world some more and meet people from all over…hopefully with a larger audience and a better running tour vehicle lol
Favorite song? Why?
Pretty tough to narrow down, but today I’ll go with ‘If Hollywood Don’t Need You” by Don Williams. Incredible feel, well crafted lyrics, it’s a gem of gems.
What do you think of Social Media?
Well, she’s a bittersweet mistress…I think the fact that we can connect with people all over the world with the click of a button is pretty dang cool, but I’m so glad my childhood was in a world before social media. I feel for kids these days. I think we can share more music with social media, but we made better music before it. I’m still old fashioned- I’d like to have more conversations face to face, and I honestly miss not having a cell-phone.
Where we can follow you?
@calliemcmusic on all Social Media
Music on Apple, Spotify, Amazon and everywhere Music is sold 🙂
Book: Harry Potter…all of them
Quote: “You do You”
Movie: Forest Gump
Tv Series: Sex and The City
Favorite Food: Coffee
Travel Destination: Switzerland is my favorite that I’ve been to so far, but Scotland and Ireland are calling my name.
Sports Team: Pittsburg Steelers