Born in Portland, Oregon, into a musical family, I started playing piano at the age of three. I played my first professional show (guitar) at the age of seven. At the tender age of nine, I played in a neighborhood band that opened for Bachman-Turner Overdrive and Carlos Santana. I was hooked!
Learning whatever instruments I could get my hands on, I studied Suzuki Method and explored improvisation and song structure with my classically-trained musician Mother, a great elementary school music teacher, a church band, and numerous benevolent professional musicians. At fourteen, I recorded my first studio vocal demo session, all the while being snuck into bars to sing and play guitar in my brother’s hard rock bands.
As an adult, I studied vocal technique via Speech Level Singing, and at Northwest Institute of Voice. Straight out of high school, I sang, played, performed, and toured with Top 40 and original music bands. My musical influences span many different genres, but I feel that my major musical and vocal education began when I started listening to and playing Traditional Country Music. As both a songwriter and singer, I have found a tremendous amount of inspiration in this genre.
I'm a Mezzo-Soprano, both Lyric & Coloratura. I have an ear, range and timbre that has helped me over the years as a soloist and harmonizer. I truly enjoy arranging vocals in the studio, and I love the challenge of intricate, multi-layered vocals, especially 3-4+ part harmonies. I am available for Demo vocals, and I am fast and efficient with studio time. I am also able to tune myself, if the engineer allows.
Instruments, Co-Writing and Publishing
Over the years have added bass, mandolin, tenor banjo and drums to the list of instruments that I play. I've written, played guitar, bass and drums with many Pacific NW acts over the years, receiving radio play (BMI) for some of my published music. My go-to DAW is GarageBand because I always have it with me, but I am familiar with Pro Tools, Reaper, Cubase and others. I am affiliated with BMI and NSAI, and I am able to meet in their writing rooms.
I love playing a support role as an acoustic guitarist & backing vocalist, but like most reasonable women, I do love a good lead guitar shred on my Telecaster or Strat. Having played 2nd Guitfiddle to my Jazz guitarist brother as a kid, I take great pride in being a solid rhythm guitarist. My most recent love is Bass guitar, and I would best be described as a "pocket" player.
Please contact me @ MariaCallahan@gmail.com / 503-997-8716
Performing and Touring
I have reliable transportation, a valid passport and I am legally able to enter foreign countries. I have backed several emerging artists, in conjunction with Artist Development groups. I am comfortable working within strict visual and audio parameters. I am available as a hired-gun player on short notice.
So whether it’s a Co-write, recording a demo, subbing gig at a small club, backing a singer songwriter, or a 40-foot stage in Aruba, I will come to the event prepared.
If you require a resume, discography, or professional recommendations please message me.
Thank you for your time in reading.