The Callen Sisters

The Callen Sisters
Origin New York City, USA
Genres Pop, Folk Rock
Instruments harp, guitar, vocals
Years active 2005–current
Labels Self-Release
Jessa Callen (harp and vocals)
Beth Callen (guitar and vocals)
Notable instruments
harp and acoustic guitar

The Callen Sisters are a pair of sisters-duo singer-songwriters with unique and unusual instrumentation incorporating harp and guitar for folk-rock music.[1]



The pair is composed of elder sister Jessa Callen (Born 1982) and younger sister Beth Callen (Born 1984), both raised in Westport, Massachusetts, and Saratoga Springs, New York.

Both sisters were fond of music since childhood, and received inspiration and support from their mother, Kim.[2] They both learned piano at a young age, both played woodwind instruments (Jessa - flute, Beth - clarinet), and then both played guitar. The sisters both played in their school's Jazz band, Jessa on guitar and Beth on bass guitar. Jessa switched to harp after their move to Upstate New York in the late '90s.

Jessa later received formal training in composition and harp and earned her BM in music composition with a minor in harp performance. She became a professional harpist and accomplished studio musician, having recorded for several film scores and artists' solo albums.[3]

The sisters had been performing together since high school and both decided to enroll at SUNY Purchase to pursue their musical dreams. A series of family losses, including Karen (their aunt), Kim (their mother) and Dorothy (their grandmother) in the years 2003, 2004 and 2005 respectively, enhanced their closeness. They found refuge in each other and in their music, which enriched their songwriting qualities and deep compassion.

This became the catalyst of the formation of The Callen Sisters. Their premiere performance after formation was August 22, 2006 along with Dan Castellani on keyboards, Chris Anderson on bass, and Dave Gluck on drums.

Their debut self-titled album was released in October 2007 with Dan Castellani as producer, arranger and keyboardist of the album. Both sisters share songwriting and vocal roles (6 from Jessa and 6 from Beth) with several studio musicians. Their songs deal with the personal experiences, societal insights, and raw emotions of both sisters.

Their music is influenced by Fiona Apple and Tori Amos, Jimi Hendrix and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The interplay between Jessa's harp and Beth's guitar with their voices, creates a unique sound effect.

Jessa plays Camac Harps and Beth plays Taylor Guitars.


2007 - The Callen Sisters

  1. Anomie
  2. Irrelevant
  3. Like You
  4. Life
  5. Wildfires
  6. Lullaby
  7. Tangled Up
  8. Phase
  9. Reincarnate
  10. Almost Gone
  11. Whirlwind Came
  12. Wake Up
  • Track 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 written by Beth
  • Track 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 written by Jessa

The Band

  • Jessa Callen - Harp, Vocals
  • Beth Callen - Guitar, Vocals
  • Chris Anderson - Bass, Vocals on "Wake Up"
  • Dan Castellani - keyboards
  • Dave Gluck - Drums
  • Wil Farr - Vocals on "Wake Up"
  • Joe Fusca - Vocals on "Wake Up"


  1. ^ The Callen Sisters Official Site
  2. ^ The Callen Sisters Interview, Off The Record Magazine, March 7, 2008
  3. ^ Jessa Callen entry in Harp Mall

External links


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