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Album Review

A leading voice on the Canadian folk scene, James Keelaghan won a Juno award for 1993's My Skies. Home is his first recording on Appleseed, and Keelaghan's precise writing and ideological slant make him a good fit for the socially conscious label. Keelaghan opens the album with David Francey's "Red-Winged Blackbird," an easy-flowing melody that finds hope in the bright wings of a bird in the midst of winter. Imagery of nature is featured prominently on a number of tunes. The northern shore and the cry of a loon paint a picture of an older time and place in Ian Tamblyn's "Woodsmoke and Oranges," while "birds sweetly singing" and flowers blooming evoke the beauty of a young maid in "The Flower of Magherally." Keelaghan also remembers to add a bit of social criticism on the cutting "Nothing," a fine critique of contemporary politicians, advertisers, and the media. The beauty of the piece is that Keelaghan doesn't try to tackle a specific problem. Instead, he leaves the lyric hazy enough to apply to anyone who's trying to convince the public that his or her lies are the truth. Home also sounds good. The simple arrangements integrate pedal steel and electric bass, creating a full, organic sound that complements the material and Keelaghan's resonant vocals. Home offers few surprises for Keelaghan's fans, but that's not a bad thing: just a solid batch of songs, confidently presented by a steadfast artist. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford Jr., Rovi

Biography

Born: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '90s, '00s

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...
Full Bio
Home, James Keelaghan
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