This article is an . autobiography or has been extensively edited by the subject or by someone connected to the subject (May 2013)
October 28, 1959
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Folk, roots revival
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, producer
Green Linnet, Jericho Beach Music, Tranquilla, Borealis Records
Compadres, Oscar Lopez
James Keelaghan (born October 28, 1959) is a Canadian folk singer-songwriter. Born in  Calgary, Alberta, Keelaghan is now based in Perth, Ontario. Many of the lyrics in his songs display a concern about social problems and justice in society. Examples of such themes include "Kiri's Piano", about the  internment of Japanese Canadians, and "October 70", about the FLQ crisis, inspired by events and figures in Canadian history. Some of his songs concern tragic historical events, such as "Fires of Calais," about the 1940 Dunkirk evacuation of Allied troops during World War II, and "Cold Missouri Waters," about the Mann Gulch fire of 1949. Keelaghan's lilting baritone voice, driving rhythm guitar, and a sense of scene and narrative result in his ability to bridge traditional folk music with roots revival and Celtic music.
History [ edit ]
Keelaghan studied history at the
University of Calgary and two of his influences there were Drs. Margaret J. Osler and Sheldon Silverman. With an international following in Australia and England, Keelaghan plays a wide variety of venues from large festivals and concert halls to intimate folk clubs venues and often invites the audience for a beer after his performance.
In 2003, Keelaghan won first prize (Folk Category) of the 8th Annual USA Songwriting Competition. In 1994, he was the recipient of a
Juno Award. 
His song "Cold Missouri Waters" was covered by the band
Cry Cry Cry in 1998. His songs have also included some by famed folk musicians. They include Roy Bailley and  Garnet Rogers.
Frequent guest musicians on his albums include
Stephen Fearing, Oscar Lopez and Hugh McMillan of Spirit of the West. His latest CD, House of Cards (2009), produced by James Keelaghan, is a collection of ten new original songs, some co-written with Karine Polwart, David Francey and others. The cd has been receiving critical praise both in Canada and abroad.
Discography [ edit ]
Small Rebellions (1990)
My Skies (1993)
A Recent Future (1995)
Compadres (1997) (James Keelaghan, Oscar Lopez) Nominated for a for Juno Award Best Roots & Traditional Album – Group
Then Again (2004)
A Few Simple Verses (2006)
¿Buddy Where You Been? (2007) (Compadres – James Keelaghan, Oscar Lopez) Nominated for a for Juno Award Roots & Traditional Album of the Year: Group
House of Cards (2009)
History: The First 25 Years (CD and DVD) (2013)
See also [ edit ]
References [ edit ]
External links [ edit ]