By Spencer Seymour
Being nominated for a Canadian Country Music Award (CCMA) award is a childhood dream come true for Stratford-native and former student and employee at The World's Coolest Music Store in St. Marys, Callie McCullough.
The country artist's debut album "After Midnight" is up for "Alternative Country Album of the Year" at this year's CCMAs. The CCMA Award Week is being held in London this year from November 26th to November 29th and McCullough will be performing at the Revival House in Stratford on Thursday, November 25th, with fellow World's Coolest Music Store alumni and St. Marys resident Nicole VanMassenhoven, a.k.a. Williams Daughter.
McCullough explained that being in the alternative country category really means her music goes to more traditional roots of the genre. While mainstream country is trending more towards country-pop hybrids, McCullough said she has "a deep love for the roots, traditions, and sounds of Country, Bluegrass, Folk, and Celtic music," and that the influences of each aforementioned genre can be heard on her album.
She also explained just how much this nomination means to her. "I grew up watching the CCMAs and dreaming of the day, so this is a really big moment." McCullough attended Medway High School just outside of London and grew up in rural Perth County near Prospect Hill while working and taking lessons at The Worlds Coolest Music store in St. Marys. She later moved to Stratford while playing pubs and festival gigs all over Southwestern Ontario before moving to Nashville. The CCMAs are held annually in rotating cites across the country and this year they happen to be in London. "The whole area is my hometown which makes getting to share this milestone right here at home pretty amazing," McCullough said.
Her performance at the Revival House is a long time coming for the singer, who was planning to put on a show in 2020 before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. "We actually planned to debut the album and start the Canadian tour at the Revival House back in March of 2020," McCullough explained, with her performance cancelled due to the pandemic. "But amidst the shutdowns, I had the chance to shoot a music video at Revival House for a song off this record called 'No Good Way'. It was really cool to see that piece of my hometown flying all over press articles from LA and Nashville." She went on to credit Revival House owner and "longtime friend" Rob Wigan for creating a premier destination for live music, entertainment and dining in the area, calling the Revival House "one of the most stunning venues and stages I have ever had the privilege to sing on."
Tickets for the November 25th show cost $25 and are for sale online-only at ticketscene.ca or through revival.house. You can also follow Callie McCullough on social media @calliemcmusic and Williams Daughter @williamsdaughtermusic.