Cerys Matthews airs Special Rider, from BLUE LiES, on her
BBC Radio 2 Blues Show, Monday July 27th, 2020.
Video produced by Tom Degney.



 

RnR magazine (UK), March/April 2021


My feature article in RnR magazine.
If the magazine is not available locally you can buy a copy from their website
it's the one with Fleet Foxes on the cover.
 

 

 

Review of BLUE LiES in
"BLUESNEWS" (Norway) June 2020


Every now and then (but not frequently enough) Raphael Callaghan releases an album, and for 2020 he offers Blue Lies, an excellent CD of original material, strong blues compositions and distinctly individual covers of Skip James and Charley Patton.
Worth checking!


 

BLUES BLAST (USA) July 23, 2020 (extract)


He's a master of the acoustic guitar with a mellowed warm vocal delivery and a lyrical gift. The music is comforting as he gives the impression he's singing to an audience of one.
Something of a title song, Little Blue Lies features slide and nicely ringing guitar. The semi-autobiographical Blues For Mr Bean is a saga about being dysfunctional - Raphael's voice has an earnestness to it being a personal blues song.
He tones down Skip James' classic Special Rider that includes ominous mournful and distant backing vocals. Nifty guitar riffs as well. Fooling Me - some wicked slide doesn't hurt one bit. Charley Patton's Poor Me, the other cover, is given a hauntingly melancholy treatment.
This is a thought provoking and heartfelt presentation of blues and roots music related with Raphael's own unique vision. His adept vocals and acoustic guitar technique give this effort a warm and soothing touch.
Here is something that shows the artist's creative gifts in a glowing light.


 

RnR magazine (UK), July/August 2020


★ ★ ★ ★
Four stars !

 

KEN SMITH, founder, Red Lick Records (August 2020)


I thought Said And Done was a swish job, but this is moving on.
Little Blue Lies is my favourite song on the album - surely someone will pick up on this.
There's some nice studio atmosphere pervading the whole album, it's got a great warm feel and a fat sound. Sounds like a top studio and it suits your sound. Anyone in their right minds would like this.
Well done you again!


 

The first review of my new CD Blue Lies is in - and it's a good one! It's by Peter Cowley for Fatea online magazine.
There is even a mention for Folk On The Farm.
Thank you Peter, and Fatea . . .



 

BBC Radio Merseyside 4th March 2019
Jenny Lee Summers:- Live session and interview.




 

Paul Jones show on BBC Radio 2
Episode:- Blues Stew 9th Jan 2017



 

Review of SAID AND DONE in
"BLUES MATTERS" magazine
Issue 93 December-January 2017


With a musical career spanning fifty years Mersey bluesman Raphael Callaghan has decided to celebrate in style with his first solo album...
... This is a solo blues anthology pure acoustic, but still hints of wonderful rasping harmonica playing. His influences are varied and unashamedly eclectic, paying tribute to the greats like his arrangement of Skip's Kokomo Blues full of shrilling hollering pitch perfect vocals and expert guitar picking, a theme throughout this release.
Keep Calm And Carry On opens things with a steady rhythm. He has a melodic tone to his tenor focussed vocals which fuses well when backing this with harmonica on the haunting Living Blues. There is a gospel infusion on the strutting Don't Let The Devil Drive. Standout track is Jessie Mae, a tribute to the Mississippi hill country blues guitarist, great interpretation of the genre. He has a light guitar picking technique which complements his uncompromising vernacular vocals on the echoing Think I Hear The Train.

A joy to listen to, he has a unique style and approach to the music, honest and true.
Meaningful blues at its best.



 

Think I Hear The Train, a track from my CD Said And Done.
The video was filmed on location at Conwy station, North Wales



 

ACOUSTIC magazine, January 2017 issue, CD reviews


Perseverance is a useful quality on the blues road, and judging by his impressive track record - having shared stages with everyone from Bonnie Raitt to Alexis Korner - Raphael Callaghan's been around the block more than most. His tasteful playing and singing suggests the laid back school of Jansch/Renbourn, and like them, the emphasis is on melody and the song. Highlights include the moving tribute to the late Jessie Mae Hemphill, 'Jessie Mae ('Til The Sun Is Gone)', the lilting 'Silk For Skin' and his solo tour de force 'Too Much Rain, Too Much Water.' A great album from an immensely talented home-grown blues king. (Review by Julian Piper)


 

BLUES & RHYTHM, Christmas 2016 issue, CD reviews (extract)


This is Raphael's first album completely under his own name . . . he has been around on the British blues scene since the '60s and has albums recorded in numerous combinations and under different names, most recently as Blue C back in 2000 (and reviewed in B&R 157) . . . Raphael is no copyist . . . he works here mostly as a solo artist (vocals, guitar and/or harmonica) . . . good songs and excellent presentation mark a fine, long-overdue return to disc for this U.K. blues veteran. (Review by Norman Darwen)


 

Folk North West, Winter 2016/2017, CD reviews (extract)


This CD flows effortlessly from track to track with an assurance that only someone on top of their game can produce. Here, style allied to substance is a real winner. As a musician he has few peers be it on guitar or harmonica as his roll call of those he has been invited to play with attests. I've known Raphael for over 40 years and I'm so happy to have been able to offer encouragement in those formative days and to hear this landmark solo album. Whether you are a blues fan or not, your life will be enriched by listening to this music genre performed in such a robust and stylish manner. (Review by David Jones)


 

Blues In Britain magazine, December 2016, CD reviews (extract)


Acoustic blues has a simplicity that Raphael Callaghan captures when all is Said And Done. On his first solo release, the Liverpudlian uses all his skills as vocalist, harmonica and slide player. The real test for an acoustic player is the songs - they need a story. This is blues played in Britain steeped in Mississippi given a freshness of touch. 'Too Much Rain, Too Much Water' has the blues feel that fits into any decade, with Raphael's vocals simple and stripped back. The lyrics work well when it is not a narrative, where things are left unsaid through imagination and innuendo. An album for lovers of acoustic blues. (Review by Liz Aiken)


 

BLUESNEWS magazine (Norway) December 2016


Raphael Callaghan has been a feature on the U.K. blues scene since the '60s with a recording history going back to that decade, though much of it has not been under his own name.Said And Done (Blue Cee BCR 67) is actually the first to appear as 'Raphael Callaghan' and it is worth the wait, a collection of mainly original solo blues recordings (vocal and guitar and/or harmonica) that is well worth a listen. (www.raphaelcallaghan.com)


 

My review in FATEA digital magazine