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Local teen plays original music at Summer Nights

Bailey Callihoo, 15-years-old, has a passion for not only singing and guitar playing, but also for song writing.
Bailey Callihoo with his guitar before a performance at the Central Park bandshell.


By Lauren Frost

As you may be aware, Lake Cowichan’s smash hit program, Summer Nights, has been put on every Saturday evening at 6:30 p.m., since July 7. Each night, different performers are scheduled to sing, dance, or play music for the growing crowd in Central Park. However, beforehand, there is a half hour of open mic entertainment. While these spontaneous entertainers vary from week to week, there has been but one musician who has sang unfailingly on every Saturday evening.

Bailey Callihoo, 15-years-old, has a passion for not only singing and guitar playing, but also for song writing. With the amount of musical artists who actually write their own songs dwindling by the decade, he feels this is a very important part of who he is as a performer. So far, Callihoo has performed nothing but his own original songs.

Callihoo started playing guitar three years ago in band class. “I fell in love with bass guitar,” he said. “But they no longer offered that at the school.” So, instead, Callihoo started learning how to play the classic acoustic guitar.

It wasn’t long after that that Callihoo started writing songs. Song-writing, he says, is the best way he can express himself. His very first song was called Give it All. His inspiration for this song was simply life itself.

“My inspiration was how I learned that life will take everything you have, and leave you with nothing, so you might as well just give it all and take the rocky path of life, and love it anyway.” Callihoo muses.

It is, indeed, a talent to be able to fit in someone else’s shoes. Though Callihoo is only a teenager, he sings songs about lonely men, and lovers in complex situations. His talent is truly outstanding.

Since Give it All, Callihoo has written many more songs — too many to count. In fact, he has written the titles of as many of his original songs as would fit on his guitar, and still, not every song he has written would fit.

Calihoo states that music is “one of the most important things in his life.” He hopes to pursue the performing arts as a career choice. His musical role models include Kenny Chesney and Brad Paisley. “I like how their music is down to earth,” Callihoo says.

Callihoo will be singing his original songs Saturday, August 25th, the last night for open mic performers.

Saturday, September 1, will be the Summer Nights finale. One of the head organizers, Elvin Hedden, says that all the final acts have not yet been booked, but there are a few already slotted in. Parker Smith, Mike Simkins and his Swing Band, and Byron and Jack Gunderson will all be performing.

Overall, Hedden believes Summer Nights has been a success. He says that it has been “building momentum” over the summer. It has, indeed, been a great opportunity for performers young and old to show off their talents to the town.