"Mama Jan" Smith with Peter Vogl
Peter Vogl, Hunter Callahan
515-B North McDonough St.
Decatur, GA, 30030
Doors 6:00 PM / Show 7:00 PM
Mama Jan Smith
For over twenty-five years, "Mama Jan" Smith (www.jansmith.com) has been a prominent & beloved figure in the music industry either as a singer/songwriter, a Grammy-nominated producer, a GA Music Hall of Fame inductee, or most notably, as the vocal coach and "go-to girl" who has tended to some of the most distinctive and successful voices in today's commercial music industry. Tonight, Mama Jan brings her own voice to the Attic stage with her long-time guitarist and fellow colleague, Peter Vogl. A perfect show for Mother's Day weekend, so be sure to bring your own Momma to the Attic for a special treat!
If you asked the 21-year-old singer-songwriter what kind of genre he plays, he'd reply with the simple response, “I just play music.”
And, quite frankly, that’s the truth.
At the age of 14, Hunter Callahan first picked up the guitar because he wanted to sound like Guns N’ Roses and AC/DC. “I wanted to be Slash. Probably just about every high school kid with a guitar wants to be in a rock band at some time or another,” states the singer. Two years later, Hunter joined a Southern rock and country band with his older brother. While a member of this band, he played venues such as The Frederick Brown Amphitheatre in Peachtree City, GA. Playing with this group changed the direction of his music, so around the age of 17, Hunter found his niche as a guitarist in a genre of music that was all but dead and gone: The Blues. “The great thing about Blues music is that it’s so wide open.
As a musician, you can say so much while keeping it so incredibly simple.” Drawing influence from artists like B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix,
and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Hunter worked towards being a master of the guitar.
And then, his musical direction changed again.
“Around this time, my life took a weird turn. I rolled my truck on I-75 after being hit by a drunk driver and ended up facing a long and painful recovery. It was at that time I started writing a lot of music, but it was just these simple melodies...and I remember wondering where all these love songs were coming from when all I had ever wanted was to play rock and roll music. I took a lot of personal inventory at the end of 2013.
I soon came to realize that this is my life, this is my music, this is my opportunity to be me, and this is my sound. It’s who I am." And his signature sound is exactly that - the blues mixed with everything from rock, pop, country, folk, and even a touch of reggaeton. So the songs started coming, and Hunter started doing something else that he had never attempted; he started singing.
It was in the winter of 2014 that fate led him to Grammy nominee Dana C. Lamb. "My dad read an article in the local paper about this teacher who became a hit songwriter with a nationwide PBS special. Since my mom was a teacher, she reached out to her and before long we had a meeting," says Hunter. On a cold winter afternoon, Dana met with Hunter and she knew immediately that this was not another kid with stars in his eyes. "This kid had something different. I do produce talent, but I am very choosy about who I produce. This music business is intoxicating, but if you're not ready with saleable commercial music, obvious built-in talent and thick skin, and really ready to invest five years of hard work into promotion, working on your craft, then it's not worth investing one dime into a recording project. This kid had it all and then some. I was blown away by his level of writing, the vulnerability and the sheer genius in his lyrics. I've never seen or heard anything like him. So producing him was really my privilege, not the other way around," says Dana.
In June of 2014, and on his 21st birthday, Hunter found himself with some of Nashville's elite working on songs that were just ideas in his head just a few short months ago. John Bass, owner of Arctic Sound Studios, was the lead engineer on the project. "I've been in this business for thirty years and I've seen and heard a lot of people try to make it in the business. This kid just had something different that was so incredible to see and hear for just a 21-year-old musician. His writing was incredible, his guitar playing was like any of the top session players I've ever seen in Nashville, and yet he was just this humble guy just coming in to do his album. It was an incredible experience for all of us," said John Bass. Also on his project was John Howard, renowned Nashville bassist who has played for Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Randy Owen, and is the bassist for America's Got Talent top band "Sixwire" who routinely plays on the hit show "Nashville." John Howard says, "This kid is one to watch, definitely." Sean MacDonald lended his incredible rhythms and Dana played keys/piano and did worked on the orchestration. To finalize the project, Jeff Hazard put down some dirty B3 on a couple of tracks and John Bass arranged for a gospel choir to come in on "Miracles." Truly, it was a team of professionals that gave everything they could to Hunter's project "Broken Hearts and Melodies."
Hunter debuted on the India Hines show in July 2014 to preview his album which will release on September 14, 2014 with a launch party at Eddie's Attic. "It's just finally done. This is a representation of everything I am musically up until this point, but I would be lying to you if I wasn't already thinking about the sophomore album."
With twelve amazing new songs, all of which could be hit singles, Hunter Callahan is well on his way to making his mark in the music business. Gifted with a voice that hardly fits his appearance, the combination of his raspy vocals and soulful songwriting has drawn comparisons to John Mayer, Ray Lamontagne, and Bob Dylan.