JAMES KEELAGHAN – Celebrating 25 Years Of Performing
History contains eighteen studio versions of James’ most beloved songs, while on the accompanying DVD we find James in the comfort of his home telling the stories behind the music
The CD booklet contains twenty eight pages of pictures and text from James’ own pen.
Called Canada’s finest singer songwriter by the respected American journalist and historian Dave Marsh, James Keelaghan is an artist who has proven to be a man for all seasons. As the calendar pages have turned, for 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 and curiosity. His masterful story telling has, over the course of eleven recordings, have been part of the bedrock of his success, earning Keelaghan nominations and awards – including a Juno and acclaim from Australia to Scandinavia.
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.
His songbook has enlightened, enthralled, and been embraced, by audiences around the world. “I’ve always had the urge to write,” says the Calgary native who now calls Perth Ontario home. “Some things weren’t being said in the way I wanted to say them, some things were not being written about at all. That’s why I started to write the historical material. That led me to writing my own personal narratives as well.” .
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.”
Terry Wickham, the producer of the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, is one of many longtime admirers of Keelaghan’s music, and he sums up the artists appeal by saying, “James has become the complete artist. A brilliant tunesmith who has become one of the most engaging performers of our time. You always know the journey with James is going to be great, you just never know what all the destinations are. That is why the curve on his career continues to rise.”
And these words from James:
“I think that people who have no regrets have neither imagination or conscience. We can all look back over the arc of a lifetime and see things we might have done better or differently.
Hearts we would not have broken or ethical dilemmas we would have handled with more grace. The trick to not being bitter or overly nostalgic is to not dwell on regret.
Despite any regrets I have been able to spend the last 25 years of my life making the music that I wanted to make. I have known an army of friends who have helped me take that music to far flung bits of the globe. I have performed in the company of some of the most creative awe-inspiring musicians on the planet. I have participated in the creation of organizations focused on the furthering of music. Music is a vocation, not a vacation. I’m looking forward to the next 25 years”
Artist’s website: http://keelaghan.com/