James Keelaghan to Appear in Harrisburg, PA

Award-winning American music critic and historian Dave Marsh has called James Keelaghan “Canada’s finest songwriter.”  Keelaghan comes to Central Pennsylvania for a Susquehanna Folk concert with bassist David Woodhead, on November 20 at 7:30PM at the Midtown Scholar Bookstore in Harrisburg.

With 11 recordings to his credit, Keelaghan is an artist who has shown himself to be a man for all seasons and all reasons. For nearly 25 years this poet laureate of folk and roots music has gone about his work with a combination of passion, curiosity, intent, and intensity. A lover of language and history, a storyteller always looking for the next unique story line, Keelaghan forges his pieces with brilliant craftsmanship and monogrammed artistic vision, making his one of the most distinctive and readily identifiable voices on both the Canadian and international singer-songwriter scenes.

“I’ve always had the urge to write,” he explains. “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.”

Although he writes much of his own material, finding inspiration and stories in diverse places, he is also a possessive interpreter of other artists’ songs, such as his gripping take on Gordon Lightfoot’s epic Canadian Railroad Trilogy. He has never shied away from collaboration in his live and recorded performances, touring and tracking with master musicians such as Oliver Schroer, Oscar Lopez, and Hugh McMillan. “If you work with people who are better than you, you become better,” he says.

Edmonton Folk Music Festival producer Terry Wickham says Keelaghan “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.”

Concert tickets are $18 General Admission, $14 for SFMS members and $10 for students ages 3-22. Advance tickets are available through Brown Paper Tickets online at www.brownpapertickets.com or toll-free (800) 838-3006.  The concert is presented in cooperation with the Midtown Scholar Bookstore. For more information, visit the Susquehanna Folk Music Society web site at http://www.sfmsfolk.org

 Written by John Hope and reprinted from Central Pennsylvania Traditions, the newsletter of the Susquehanna Folk Music Society

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