In 2012, James Keelaghan appeared in
For a quarter of a century, this poet laureate of the folk and roots music world has gone about his work with passion, intent, intensity and curiosity. Armed with a songbook of enlightening ideas, Keelaghan’s life is a perpetual journey. His songs are like musical expeditions, some of them weaving through stories with underlying universal themes, and others mining the depths of the soul. The Halifax Chronicle Herald describes him as a man with fingers of steel and a voice like a Mack Truck. Keelaghan is acclaimed from Australia to Scandinavia, with numerous nominations and awards including a Juno to his credit.
ARTIST WEBSITE: web.me.com/jameskeelo/Keeloweb/Main.html
For almost a quarter of a century now, this poet laureate of the folk and roots music world has gone about his work with a combination of passion, intent and intensity, and curiosity.
Armed with a songbook that has enlightened and enthralled, and been embraced, by audiences around the world, Keelaghan’s life as an artist is one that is a perpetual journey on so many levels.
Most importantly it’s a journey that has invited fans of literate and layered songwriting to be a part of his artistic expeditions, some that weave their way through marvelously etched stories of a historical nature with underlying universal themes , and others that mine the depths of the soul and the emotional trails of human relations. “The necessity to write has always been a double-edged sword. I’ve always had the urge to write. Some things weren’t being said in the way I wanted to say them. Then there are the different sides of what I write about. The narrative writing, the historical material, as well as the personal, where you have to take responsibility for what you are saying”
The Halifax chronicle herald once said that Keelaghan had fingers of steel and a voice like a Mac truck. House of Cards showcases Keelaghan’s three great assets, solid guitar playing, a voice unmatched and instantly recognizable, and lyrical excellence. For the first time Keelaghan also collaborates with some of the folk world’s best writers Karine Polwart, David Francey, Rose Cousins, and Dave Gunning. “I was at the Celtic Colors Festival in 2008 and the producers locked six of us in a house for a week, and the company included Dave Gunning, David Francey, and Rose Cousins, it was an amazing experience. We had to come up with enough material for a show at the end of it”.
Admiration and respect for his work amongst his peers is best summed up by David Francey who recently stated that, “James Keelaghan’s is a voice in contemporary Canadian songwriting that has helped us define who we are as a people. He writes with great humanity and honesty, with an eye to the past and a vision of the future. He has chronicled his times with powerful and abiding songs, with heart and eyes wide open.” For Keelaghan staying at the top of his game comes down to a very clear rule, “never stop accumulating.” “I want my audiences to know that I am open enough to try new things and push there bounds.”