CA Mid State Fair: Country singer grew up on SLO County ranch

Country singer Callie Twisselman smiled as she saddled a chocolate-brown horse named Cash on her family’s Shandon ranch. Behind the stables, acres of golden grass and barley swayed in the summer breeze.

Twisselman grew up on the 40,000-acre ranch, which her family has had for seven generations. That’s where she learned to ride horses, care for cattle and sing.

Now Twisselman, who lives and works in Nashville, returns to the ranch every two months to visit her family.

”This is who I am and where I’m from,” said Twisselman. “It’s really good to get back to your roots.”

On Friday, Twisselman will open for country duo Big & Rich at the California Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles. Taking the stage at the Chumash Grandstand Arena, she’ll perform songs from her new EP “Closure,” which was inspired by her childhood on the ranch.

Then, on Saturday, she’ll compete in the fair’s Country Rodeo.

“Coming back to San Luis Obispo to sing live at the fair is really like a full-circle moment,” Twisselman said. “I’m really excited because I love being home.”

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Callie Twisselman riding a horse on the family ranch at 3-years-old. Courtesy of Callie Twisselman

Growing up country in SLO County

A school bus used to rumble through the Twisselman Ranch each weekday — passing cattle grazing under a wide, blue sky, before dropping off Twisselman, her siblings and cousins at their grandma’s house.

Most of Twisselman’s family lives on the ranch. Her grandma is up the hill from