James Keelaghan is a Canadian songwriter of the finest caliber.
My first experience listening to James was celtic styled folk tune, “Henry’s Downfall”. I positively expected he was from Canada’s East coast, but as it turns out, he originally hails from Calgary, Alberta.
Now living in Perth, Ontario and celebrating 25 years of music he graced the stage along with Hugh McMillan at the National Arts Centre in downtown Ottawa.
James has an astounding repertoire of songs soaked in Canadian lore from coast to coast including a song called, “Hillcrest Mine”, about a disastrous mine collapse in Alberta. Other examples are “Red River Rising” and “Canadian Railroad Trilogy”.
Not being fully contained within Canadian borders, James has a few other songs from abroad as well. Songs like, “Cold Missouri Waters” and “McConnville’s” – a song about an Irish pub and the whiskey they serve.
Overall, It was a fun afternoon show where several of the 150 or so audience members often sang along to the songs. So if you are one to enjoy other Canadian artists like Gordon Lightfoot or David Francey, you should take a look at James’ upcoming shows.
His latest release is a 10 track album accompanied with a DVD unsurreptitiously titled, “History: The First 25 Years”.