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Grand Falls-Windsor native Kacie Callahan preparing her first record

Grand Falls-Windsor native Kacie Callahan is scheduled to play at the Gathering Brook Picnic this weekend in Burlington.
Grand Falls-Windsor native Kacie Callahan is scheduled to play at the Gathering Brook Picnic this weekend in Burlington. - Contributed

Kacie Callahan hadn’t performed a complete set of original material until The Gathering of 2018.
In her adopted home of Corner Brook, the 29-year-old songstress from Grand Falls-Windsor would often mix in her own work, between belting out cover tunes during sets. 
She’d see how the original song played with the crowd, not telling people know she wrote it until afterward. 
“If you say it is your song, people really start to listen,” said Callahan. “Original music tends to be awfully personal, so that can be kind of scary. 
“It is like standing there naked. Here’s me, everything that I am and everything that I think.” 
Playing a song here and there is a lot different than producing an entire set list. Yet, there she was on The Gathering stage in Burlington, belting them out.  
One can never guess how people will react.
“It is nerve wracking anytime I play original stuff,” said Callahan.  
That Gathering performance allowed her to see where she wanted to take her music. Logically, it might be to write enough for a record, something she hopes to do.
She will showcase the progress she’s made over the last year when she hits the stage – or beach, rather – at this year’s version of The Gathering. She will be part of a musical lineup that plays the Brook Picnic on Aug. 23. 
The weekend event is a small part of a hectic summer schedule Callahan has kept since the final bell rang for her as a teacher.
Whether solo shows or performances with her band LoveQueen, she has been on the road most weekends. She calls herself a musician who just happens to teach. 
However, it wasn’t always like that. 
After a brief career as a children’s entertainer with her sister and father at venues across the province, Callahan stepped away from music.
She could always sing and play, but she never did it for people. In high school, there were no choirs she joined or rock bands started in a Grand Falls-Windsor garage. 
“I was shy and nervous,” said Callahan, noting it is the opposite of how she sees herself now. “I spent a lot of my teenage years watching battle of the bands and, not even joking, I would sit in the audience every time because I wished that I was doing it.” 
Then, in her early 20s, she played at a local benefit show in her hometown and jaws dropped. It was such a good feeling for her that it opened her eyes to what she could accomplish in that world. 
After that, there was a short stint in a rock band, then Callahan moved to Corner Brook to finish her schooling four years ago. 
It was there she played a spontaneous set at a local bar. It impressed the right people and the rest is rock ’n’ roll history, as they say. 
When she is in the midst of writing songs for her first record, her words come in stages. 
Inspired by the blues and soul singers of years gone by, sometimes these stages are free flowing and her songs come together. Other times, she's stopped dead in her tracks and the words stop coming. 
A longtime collector of music on vinyl – there's nothing more authentic then hearing music through that medium, she said – Callahan will look towards her collection for inspiration at times. 
She’ll reach for The Beatles’ White Album, or Stevie Wonder when she’s looking for that extra push of inspiration. 
Callahan will other times turn to the live albums in her collection. It allows her to hear the music how it is supposed to be heard. 
It's that feeling she strives for when creating material for her record. She has a vision of what she wants to accomplish and won't falter from that.
“I want my songs to be a complete reflection of me,” she said. 

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