Canadian musician - James Keelaghan - 21st April (The Harp)
February 26, 2010 at 12:00PM

James Keelaghan




Wednesday 21st April

900 Princes Highway, Tempe NSW

Tix $25, doors 7pm

Phone: 02 - 9559-6300

James Keelaghan's publicist is offering one double pass and a CD.

Please email me quickly if you want to be the winner !

James Keelaghan is making his 7th trip to Australia, touring to promote his latest album, the critically acclaimed House of Cards10 new originals, some of them co-written with folk luminaries David Francey, Karine Polwart and Rose Cousins, make it one of his best yet. House of Cards showcases Keelaghan's great assets, solid guitar playing, a voice unmatched and instantly recognizable, and lyrical excellence. 


Keelaghan says “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”.


Keelaghan has never shied away from collaboration in his live and recorded performances, touring and tracking with master musicians like Oliver Schroer, Oscar Lopez and Hugh McMillan. "If you work with people who are better than you, you become better. The sparks of collaboration and the batting of melodies back and forth have produced some wonderful results’, says Keelaghan.


Admiration and respect for his work amongst his peers is reflected in the words of David Francey who recently stated that “James Keelaghan 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 almost a quarter of a century, this Canadian 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.

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 marvellously etched stories of a historical nature with underlying universal themes, to songs based on social commentary (the title track deals with the ongoing Global Financial Crisis) and others that mine the depths of the soul and the emotional trails of human relations.


Folk music is all about the stories, and Keelaghan’s masterful story telling has been part of the bedrock of his success, earning him nominations and awards - including a Juno (Canada's ARIA).  Possessed of an insatiable appetite for finding the next unique story line, Keelaghan forges his pieces with brilliant craftsmanship and monogrammed artistic vision, making him one of the most distinctive and readily identifiable voices on both the Canadian and international singer-songwriter scenes. 


Keelaghan is a disciplined visionary with several aces up his sleeve.  He loves language and history, a subject in which he earned a degree; he is a skilled thespian, which explains his ability to make an immediate connection with a live audience; and he has an ear for memorable melodies and harmonies that make those melodies glisten. Says Keelaghan, “I’m good for 80 or so books a year, mostly history and non-fiction, but inspiration can come in many forms. I’m always on the lookout for a good story or idea.”


“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”

Article originally appeared on Quebec Oz Club (
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