We had the good fortune of connecting with Loretta Callens and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Loretta, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
My love of singing, songwriting, playing my instruments, and performing, is what made me decide to go into the business of music. If I was going to make music, I might as well make money to help pay for the cost of creating it. However, my main desire is to enrich the lives of others through music.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
There is a lot to keep a working musician busy. There’s promotion, booking, pitching songs for placement, travel, and selling albums or downloads. Many hours are involved. Using social media to broadcast live shows via Facebook, etc., has made promoting much easier than in the past. Many of my performances are in restaurants, coffee houses, wineries, etc. When performing, my goal is to provide pleasant background music for the patrons enjoyment while they dine and socialize. I perform often at retirement and nursing facilities. It’s not glamorous and has no bright lights, but they are my favorite venues. The brightest light is in the faces and eyes of the residents. It is a joy taking them on a sentimental journey through music. It’s exciting to see those with memory issues singing along, remembering every word. Music is a powerful medicine!! Another activity that keeps me busy is recording and writing. The creation of melodies comes easy for me, however, lyric writing can be challenging. Fortunately I have several wonderful co-writers that help with finding the right words.
I was honored with a “Female Artist of the Year” award in Folk/Americana from the 2018 Josie Music Awards held in Pigeon Forge, TN, at Dollywood. I almost didn’t go, but my music buddy, Lisa Byrn ask, “what if you win and aren’t there to accept it?” Good question! With that, Lisa and I hit the road to Tennessee 3 days later. It was a wonderful experience!! In 2019, my latest album “Wordless”, was nominated for album of the year in the instrumental genre’ by The Josie Music Awards. Didn’t win, but it was a privilege to have been nominated, especially since it was my first endeavor on piano. Lisa was also a nominee, so we took off for Tennessee again. Aside from performing and songwriting, I have produced or co-produced many festivals and other events from 1989 to the present. In my youth, I dreamed of recording an album. It seemed like it would never happen with work, family, and life in general. Then after a show in 2007 at Son’s of Hermann Hall in Dallas, I was approached by producer Gordon McLeod, who helped me achieve that dream. Now I have four albums under my belt. In the years I have been working in the independent music scene, it has become clear, that for me, the love of music is the driving force rather than fame and fortune.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Shoutout to Sons of Hermann Hall’s Thursday Night Electric Campfire Jam, White Rock Lake trails, The Dallas Zoo, and The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. Enjoy watching planes land at Love Field from Bachman Lake Park. Love to eat at Babe’s Chicken Dinner House and Sambucu Restaurant. Infocus Band for great dance music. Dallas International Guitar Festival and to Deep Ellum for their live music venues.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My wonderful parents who cultivated my love of music and made sure I had plenty of exposure to it when growing up. They were always supportive of my musical endeavors. To my talented producers and instrumentalists, Gordon McLeod, (McLeod Nine Studio), and Ryan Elmore. Also instrumentalists, Milo Deering, David Hawkins, Brad Blackwood, Dirje Childs, Cade Campbell, Nancy Kamm, T-Roy Miller, and the Igneous Grimm band, all of whom lent their talents to my recording projects. And last but not least my co-writers, Michelle Garrison, Laura Haas, Jim Bentley, and David Hawkins.
Tom Peal David Hawkins Alan Litt