Callie Cardamon is a West-Coast standards singer whose distinctive interpretations of jazz and pop standards have earned her the respect of song-lovers everywhere. Raised in the Midwest, Callie first attracted major-label attention when she was completing an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and recording songs on the side. At the suggestion of Jovan Mrvos, then A&R at Arista Records, she moved to Nashville to hone her songwriting skills, as she worked with her co-writer and producer (and husband) Eric Rawson.
Although eventually signed to Sony CBS-New York, Callie never released her major-label debut. Instead, she landed in Los Angeles, where she and Eric started Primavera Records and released “Time and the Weather,” a serious CD of all-original material, in 1997. Despite success on indie stations, Callie stopped writing and recording for several years, having grown disenchanted with the business end of making music. During this time, Greg Michaelson, an accomplished vocalist and friend, re-introduced her to the great jazz and standards singers. Her new collection of recordings, “Easy Street” (2010), honors the great writers and singers of the mid-twentieth century.
Although Callie still writes (including the sexy “Love Jazz” on her new CD), she’s interested mainly in interpreting the American Songbook now. “The standards are archetypal songs,” she says, “and thus they have the power to speak to a broad range of listeners. That’s what interests me. I love inhabiting a song that has been alive for decades. It ensconces me in Time itself in a way no other experience has the power to do. I love that the songs have enchanted listeners for so long. It’s a privilege to sing them.”