Hailing from Rhode Island, Allysen Callery first came to the Terrascope’s attention back in 2008 courtesy of fellow singer-songwriter (and Terrastock veteran) Marissa Nadler, who suggested that she got in touch with us. And were we ever glad that she did. It was immediately apparent that Allysen is an artist with an ear for a good tune and a delicate touch – “the sound of a petal lifted by a warm breeze, the poetic lyrics delivered with sensual passion over the gossamer fine guitar notes,” we enthusiastically wrote at the time. The only question really is why it’s taken so long for us to feature her in print, so when Josh Burkett - who many readers will fondly remember from the Woolf 1 festival back in 2013, and still others may recall from the mighty Vermonster - offered us the chance of an interview, you will readily understand why we bit his hand off, so to speak.

Q: When did you start playing and what are your influences? I hear some British folk in your sound...

A: I took up the guitar after my father died, he played a beautiful nylon string Martin, & I played that guitar all through my teens. I asked a teacher at my arts based private school to teach me fingerstyle so I could play 'Young Edwin' by Steeleye Span. My parents were both gone , all I had were these few British Isles records & it made a bridge for me & my past.

Q: Ok, how about 'ghost folk'...  Where is this phrase from...are real ghosts ever involved?

A: One of my first reviews said “Fragile finger picking and a haunting delivery reverberate with the ghosts of British Folk like the hybrid, conjoined spirit of Sandy Denny & Nick Drake" & my first label Woodland Recordings coined “Ghost Folk “ to describe my music" There’s definitely ghosts involved, I have no idea how the music gets written. I’m just a conduit.

Q: So, you are from New England.. like me... can you talk about it?

A: New England is a  frosty & magical world right now, and Winter may be my favorite way to enjoy its beauty. Silent and still, for solitary creatures and a few starts of color from wild birds. I love to walk on the beach in Winter. I think the land is reflected in my music.

Q: When you play longer concerts (2-3 hours sometimes right!!??) what are some of the 'deep cuts' you pull out of your hat?

A: Haha you’ll hear more covers for sure , I am a huge Neil Young fan and I’ll do a Neil at 9:00 Block sometimes. 

Q: What does being part of the Terrascope community mean to you?

A: I was late to the internet, & pretty hermitic as a young mom. I played guitar alone in my bedroom & wrote poetry. Then I heard Will Oldham by chance on a college radio station & went to a record store (a rare thing).. the clerk told me about a festival I’d missed that I would have loved, Terrastock, which had been in my own city of Providence. I still feel like it was meant that I should’ve been there, & I long to be at one. But playing this time ;) I feel such a sense of community that has always been elusive for me, and have been so glad that a bit of that spirit exists here in the states (I think in western Mass.)

Q: Oh yeah.. I was going to ask you something about Twin Peaks... since we are both fans....

A: My favorite character maybe isn’t a character, but is that nightmare dream-scape afterlife that Lynch weaves into all his work, it’s unnerving & uncanny , how he can tap into something that exists in all of our psyches somehow. Maybe that’s where songs come from, too.

Q: So you mean it all comes from a place with a checkered floor?

A: I picture the place where songs come from as a land of dreams. My dreams are more woodland and bare branched.

Q: Can you talk about your first CD 'Hopey' - I think that one is really special...

A: Hopey was named after a real person, Hope, who I never met, but was my friend's sister. Her name was Hope and they called her Hopey. Also, I actually wrote the songs to my second CD 'Hobgoblin's Hat' first.

Q: What are your favorite venues to play?  Is it different playing small places and larger ones?

A: My favorite venues are art spaces & record stores. I love a small room that’s really paying attention, & I struggle with stage fright so sometimes big rooms scare me.

Q: How have cats influenced your life and music? (you know how much they mean to me)

A: I love all animals but I reallly love cats. If you’re quiet , the cat will come to you. That’s the way it works with the kind of music I make, too.

Q: Are there any musicians that you dream of/want to play with?

A: I love Mike Bruno’s (Philly) work, whether solo or with Shadow Band, I think it would be really magical to collaborate somehow.

Q:  Can you talk about your upcoming album? have you written the songs yet?

A: All of the songs are written & tracked, I’m working with my long time producer Myles Baer again for this one. ( He’s worked on a couple of Marissa Nadler’s as well) I trust his excellent taste and I can’t wait to share the music that we’re making together . The first single is called 'November Man'. You can listen on Soundcloud.