Interview with Callie McCullough

A modern songwriter inspired by timeless classics and old-school country music, Callie McCullough has chased her unique muse for years.

Written by Divine Magazine

A paragon of a modern day singer/songwriter inspired by timeless classics and old-school country music; Callie McCullough has chased her own unique muse for years, making contemporary roots music that nods to the legends who came before her. It’s a sound anchored in honest storytelling and McCullough’s angelic voice, whose Alison Krauss-worthy tone and Dolly Parton-sized beauty stand in contrast to her dry humor and larger-than-life personality. 

With high praise from American Songwriter and Billboard, Callie has made an impact in the music scene with her vulnerable vocals, breathtaking lyrics, and fusion of traditional country, celtic, bluegrass and folk influences. She creates a musical tapestry that effortlessly captures classic and rootsy nostalgia, coupled with her own contemporary twists, sharp songwriting, and the expressive singing of an artist who has truly found her voice.

McCullough’s debut album, After Midnight (2020), featuring first-class picking from members of the GRAMMY-winning bluegrass band Union Station and western-swing super-group The Time Jumpers — quickly put her on the map, garnering a Canadian Country Music Association Nomination for Alternative Country Album of the Year, and three CMAO Nominations: Roots Artist of the Year, Rising Star and Songwriters of the Year

Callie McCullough; Credit: Ryan Nolan

What first got you into music?

I always joke I was born into one of those music families where they just basically throw a banjo on you when you’re 5 years old, huck you onstage and hope for the best, lol!

I was lucky enough to be born third generation into a musical family – my dad was really into Rock, Folk, Celtic and Blues; my Mom was big into Traditional Country and Bluegrass…I grew up backstage, travelling, and being at big jam sessions since I was a little kid and loved every minute of it…

How would you describe the music that you typically create?

I guess you might call it Contemporary Roots. I’m deeply steeped in Country, Folk, Bluegrass and Celtic traditions…the songs I write really run the gambit of those influences. I write pretty freely and just let the songs become what they want to – and I’ve been super fortunate to work with some amazing producers and incredible musicians that help me weave those sounds together in a really organic way. I’m just trying to speak my mind these days really…

Who would you most like to collaborate with? If you could go open a show for any artist, who would it be?

My answer to this is always going to be James Taylor…

What would you be doing right now if it wasn’t for your music career?

I honestly might be a Comedian…

What is next for you?

We’ve been hard at work in the studio, so there’s lots more new music coming next year! 

I’m super excited for that…

What is your most expensive piece of clothing?

Well, I will tell you we used a pair of Manolos in this music video…but I had to return them because I couldn’t afford to keep them….#someday

Do you have any lucky items, objects, or traditions?

I have the ring by Grampa gave my Grandma on their 25th wedding anniversary…I wear it everyday, and I definitely think it’s brought me good juju

What’s your favorite children’s story?

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

What is your favorite board game?

Monopoly – specifically the Star Wars version…

If you were talking to a younger version of you, what advice would you give yourself? 

Listen less to other people; only accept advice on any given subject from someone whose mindset and accomplishments you respect in that arena. People will rarely dream bigger for you than they do for themselves…

Official Music Video for  “What if I Don’t”

Sassy, fun, whimsical and masterfully produced “What if I Don’t” playfully challenges the expectations of marriage, having babies, making money and the notion of getting older asking all the “what if’s” with a wink and a nod. Banjo, dobro, harmonica give us grassy textures woven together by handclaps, drums, loose groove, and three-part harmonies all lead by McCullough’s larger-than-life personality and unmistakably gorgeous voice for an infectious and downright refreshing sound…

Video Directed by: Ryan Nolan

Songwriters: Callie McCullough, Scotty Kipfer,

Song Produced by: Dave Brainard

🎶 Stream / Download “What If I Don’t” here.

Follow Callie Here:


Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok: @calliemcmusic


© 2023, Divine Magazine. All rights reserved.

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