Mr. Callahan

by PHYLLIS JOHNSON

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about

Played piano by ear age 5. Ran car battery dead listening to the Beatles. Taught herself guitar age 9. AM radio was her closest companion. Played trumpet age 10. Spun records endlessly. Hopeful. Obsessed with Rachmaninoff. Taught herself drums age 15. Infatuated with Gershwin. Inspired. Wrote 1st song age 16. Won piano scholarship age 17. Attended music school. Intrigued with all instruments. Sought to master as many as possible. Audition placed her under Prince's purple canopy. Did the Minneapolis funk/r&b thing. Returned to music school. Resolute. Wrote music day and night. Sang jazz in award winning vocal group. Choir received top national honors in Chicago. Featured in Down Beat Magazine. 1 of 2 awarded highest honors for outstanding vocal performance at Greeley Jazzfest. Earned Bachelor of Music degree. Happy. Wrote/recorded old school pop with original band. Played in popular alt-country band. Sustained vocal injury. Ended hopes of music career. Devastated. Doc said, "When given a lemon make lemonade." Continued writing/recording in spite of challenges. Fire destroyed studio. Defeated. Walked away from music for a season. Cathartically composed originals for her ears only. Accumulated hundreds of songs in backlog. Rebuilt studio. Determined. Resurrected songs from ashes. Recorded "Mr. Callahan" amongst other demos. Nearly 90,000 hits on Myspace. Now has catalog 25 years deep. Received requests to release music. Dream reawakens. Struggles with vocals but defiantly refuses to quit. Tracks mostly solo with occasional studio favors. Records slowly but tenaciously. Thankful. Her once agile voice is replaced with fragile, world weary one. Upon completion, collection will be appropriately titled, LEMONADE. "Mr. Callahan" is the 1st of many to come. Musical influences include the Beatles, Kinks, Byrds, Left Banke, David Bowie, Todd Rundgren, Elton John, Badfinger & Brian Wilson.

SEE "MR. CALLAHAN" MUSIC VIDEO HERE:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGB_qU_LCGU

lyrics

MR. CALLAHAN

Old Mr. Callahan out for a walk
He strolls up the block past the George and the Dragon
Hat umbrella and three pairs of socks
He used to stop when he fell off the wagon for
One or two or three or four
Okay one more it probably will be
Nine or ten and one for my friend
Drunk again me wife's gonna kill me

He and his brothers would close down the pub
Three men in a tub and the lot of them drowning
Down went the others and ah there's the rub
It broke up the club and no one was counting
One or two or three or four
Okay one more it probably will be
Nine or ten and one for my friend
Drunk again me wife's gonna kill me

CHORUS
There was a time when every night was a party
There in the midst of the chattering
All of them blind but the chorus was hearty
But now the old gang is scattering it's shattering

*Pub Scene*

CHORUS
Mmm there was a time when every night was a party
There in the midst of the chattering
All of them blind but the chorus was hearty
But now the old gang is scattering it's shattering
They've taken such a battering

Old Mr. Callahan stares at the box
In a church up the block from the George and the Dragon
She left him a better man won't touch a drop
Still such a shock he's missing her nagging
One or two or three or four
That's it no more 'cause I know that it will be
Nine or ten and one for your friends
I know in the end that bottle will kill me

Now she's gone he's alone from now on
All this is wrong 'cause he knows that it should be
Old Mr. Callahan under the rock
By a church up the block from the George and the Dragon

credits

released August 7, 2013
Phyllis Johnson: vocals, acoustic guitar, mellotron, piano, bass
Matt Weaver: drums

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Phyllis Johnson Minneapolis, Minnesota

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