My name is Sue Callaghan, and I’m also known as A Girl Named Sue.
I’m a guitar player and singer based in Dublin. You may occasionally hear me trying my hand at the flute, piano, ukulele, bass, or drums. I've worked on lots of different projects as a performer / sound engineer / cameraman / editor in a range of styles, from original bands to cover bands, as well as dabbling in music composition for film and video. This site is all about my work as a solo singer songwriter, which is folk / acoustic in style.
I released my debut album as a solo artist in 2009, after spending two years in and out of the studio. 'Not In Love' features acoustic guitars, lead and backing vocals, piano, drums, and electric guitar, and a string quartet. Arranging music for a string quartet was something I had wanted to do since I was 17. It was exciting and challenging, the task was at times terrifying and exhausting but ultimately hearing my arrangements come to life was one of the most rewarding experiences I've had on my musical journey. A personal high point for me was the album launch gig in October 2009; it was a chance to celebrate the completion of the album and to have string players with me onstage. The support I received from my family, friends and the music enthusiasts I met along the way was overwhelming.
You will often find me playing in pubs and venues around Dublin; open mic nights, singer songwriter sessions or jam sessions. As a sound engineer my first love was the studio, but the experience of playing live gave me a new perspective on writing and arranging songs. In 2010 I was lucky enough to spend some time travelling around Europe with my guitar. It was a great source of inspiration, as well as a chance to meet other musicians from different countries. I enjoyed the lively music scenes in London, Paris, Vienna, and Amsterdam, as well as taking in a few sights and enjoying the journey.
2011 was the year that the wonderfully talented Antonio Garcia Lopez joined me on-stage, and we have been playing together ever since. Antonio is a violin and viola player, and as the founding member of Mariachi San Patricio he is no stranger to writing arrangements himself. His soulful playing has given another dimension to my live performances and I am also lucky enough to count him and his beautiful wife as my close friends.
2011 was also the year that I started recording my second album, 'Nothing Short of Everything'. This is still a work in progress, currently in the mixing stage, and I hope to have it released in early 2014. It was around this time when I lovingly named my backing band 'The Hostages', mostly because I wanted to kidnap the amazing cello player Péter Sebestyén so that I would always be able to hear his beautiful playing whenever I felt like it. This album features many of the same elements as the first, my acoustic guitar and vocals of course, and the string quartet featuring Antonio. I had the honour of having the esteemed Fadi Hatoum record darbuka for the album. His Lebanese based rhythms work with my guitars in an interesting way, as well as highlighting different flavours in the string parts. This fusion-esque blend distinguishes the project from ‘Not In Love’. I am very excited about the end result and I'm sure it will be worth the wait!
2013 has had it's ups and downs. Antonio and I had the good fortune to begin working with a drummer and bass player, Kelvin Doran and Dave Buttner of Two Tales of Woe fame, and piano player extraordinaire Colum McNamee. We started working on a live performance of my debut album. Just as things began to take off I injured my wrist and wasn't allowed to play the guitar for nearly six months. Luckily I was in the vocal recording stage of my second album so I made huge progress there and in the Autumn I was able to hand over the mixing files to Mr Domo Dixon. The injury gave me a different slant on some new material, as songwriting without a guitar was a first for me. Now that I'm back in action we're rehearsing hard and we will be hitting Dublin with the full band line up, building up to our headline show at Venue TBC on Saturday 7th December at 8.00. We will play Not In Love in it's entirety with the full line up and backing singers, it's going to be huge!
Thanks for your support.
Sue Callaghan’s tracks