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James Keelaghan

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James Keelaghan is one of Canada's international stars. His passionate mix of roots rock, Americana, and contemporary folk has established Keelaghan's presence in Europe, Australia, and North America. While growing up in western Canada, Keelaghan was an avid follower of music and theater, but studied history while attending the University of Calgary. Music took over, however history would be a major catalyst in Keelaghan's warm-hearted songwriting. Keelaghan's ballads on his 1987 debut Timelines played into such beauty, capturing historical Canadian events such as WWII and the Canadian Pacific Railroad. Three years later, he issued Small Rebellions, but it was his Green Linnet debut My Skies (1993) that garnered him the highest praise. My Skies won a Juno award for Best Roots Traditional Recording and was accepted by the Alberta Recording Industry Association. He earned a second Juno nomination for his fourth album, A Recent Future (1995), in 1997. That same year, he and Latin guitarist Oscar Lopez recorded the Latin/Celtic fusion -- a style they named "Celtino" -- on Compadres. Keelaghan earned a third Juno nomination for Best Roots Tradional Recording and maintained a work in progress for the Jericho Beach Music label. His most personal album, 1999's Road, was a return to folk roots; Home (2002) followed in its footsteps. Aside from making music, Keelaghan broadcasts on CBC and hosts two shows on CKUA in Alberta, as well as playing in countless festivals worldwide. He was a founding board member of the North American Folk Alliance and his song "Cold Missouri Waters" was covered by Cry Cry Cry (Lucy Kaplansky, Dar Williams, Richard Shindell) on their 1998 self-titled release. ~ MacKenzie Wilson

Top Songs


Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Years Active:

'90s, '00s


Influenced by This Artist