Newport This Week

SPOTLIGHT on Music

NBS Harvest Fair Welcomes Allysen Callery


 

 

Often, musicians have to travel to find their audience. This week’s featured musician, Bristol resident Allysen Callery, is a road warrior who is willing to go wherever the gig takes her.

She just returned from Paris last week, and Newport This Week was able to catch up with her before her next venture. “I love the road and I love meeting new people and playing for them. I love adventure, and sometimes I wish I could keep driving. [Tours] are never quite long enough for me,” Callery said.

The troubadour relishes performing each year at the famed South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas. “The thing that I love is that [at the festival] there are rooms for all different kinds of music,” she said. “I had a beautiful mid-sized and comfortable room for people to sit and listen, whereas another type of band might get a big warehouse or outdoor stage. When I toured Germany, I had some big crowds because people had heard I played South by Southwest.”

Mark Gorman is a retired high school guidance counselor and guitarist-vocalist who performs locally each week.

Mark Gorman is a retired high school guidance counselor and guitarist-vocalist who performs locally each week.

Callery is one of the featured performers at this year’s Norman Bird Sanctuary Harvest Fair, which is something she always looks forward to. “It’s a great way to say goodbye to summer and welcome fall. We are very lucky to have such a potent musician pool, a beautiful place like NBS and a guy like [Harvest Fair music organizer] Bob Kendall to bring everyone together for a fun time,” she said.

Callery’s musical training began early in life. She took violin lessons as a child and was in the Young People’s Symphony of Rhode Island.

“But I switched to guitar as a teen to honor my late father, who had been a wonderful classical guitar player,” she said. “I always sang in the choirs at church and at school.”

The guitarist has a unique style. We asked where it came from, and we loved her answer. “I put the guitar away under the bed for many years as a young adult. At age 30, I decided if I was going to do something, I’d better start doing it,” she said. “So, I re-taught myself, and with no one around to tell me I was doing it wrong, the picking style I came up with was completely my own.”

A Callery performance is special. Her haunting voice and quiet guitar picking are reminiscent of the 1960s British Folk Revival sound. “I am a loner and kind of a shy person, but being able to sing and create music helps me connect to people and I crave and love that,” she said.

She has been prolific in the last 10 years, releasing eight albums. You can listen to them at allysencallery.bandcamp.com.

For more information, visit allysencallerymusic.com.

Harvest Fair Music Lineup

Saturday, Sept. 30
Mark Cutler Trio
The ‘Mericans
Horse Eyed Men
Bubble Visor
Chelle Bill & Dyl
Quahog Allstars

Sunday, Oct .1
Arc Iris
Allysen Callery
Matt Fraza Band
Gumption and Glory
Silverteeth
Wilbur Hill

TO GO

WHEN: Saturday, Sunday, Sept. 30, Oct. 1, 11 a.m. -5 p.m.

WHERE: Norman Bird Sanctuary

ADMISSION: Adults $6, children $3


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