Episode 234: James Keelaghan

On this episode we talk to one of Canada’s finest singer-songwriters James Keelaghan. James will be in Guelph on January 15 for a show at the River Run Centre. James is also the Artistic Director of Summerfolk and during this week’s interview he announces the first artists who will be performing at the summer 2016 festival. We also have THREE pairs of tickets to give away for the James Keelaghan show. If you’d like to get in the draw, send an e-mail to jan[at]folkrootsradio.com.

The on-going tragedy that is the worldwide refugee crisis has provided some rich material for songwriters. We started off the hour with a five song set that included three new songs about the refugee experience. We lead off with the powerful new single “Refugee” from James Bruce Moore and followed it with “The Refugee” from Cumbria, England UK based Chapin-Wickwar featuring the harmonies of Sue and Lisa Chapin-Wickwar. After that we went back to 2004 for Pat Humphries and Sandy O as Emma’s Revolution for their song “Refugee”, a song that focuses on how much refugees can enrich a society followed by Lynn Miles with the pointed “What If You Were A Refugee”. We wrapped it all up with Jesse Palidofsky from Washington DC with “I Am An Immigrant”, a welcome reminder that whatever else people now think, most of us living in North America came here as immigrants, and, quite possibly, as refugees seeking a better life.

James Keelaghan is widely-regarded as being one of Canada’s finest songwriters. With a career spanning nearly a quarter century, he’s been called the poet laureate of the folk and roots world – a song craftsman who brings passion, intensity and curiosity to his work alongside an insatiable desire to find the next unique story to inspire another big song. He’s also the Artistic Director of the Summerfolk Music and Crafts Festival. James Keelaghan will be in Guelph on Friday January 15 for a Borealis Music Series show in the Co-operators Hall at the River Run Centre at 8 p.m. Tickets are $28.00 Adult, $26.00 Senior and available online HERE. We caught up with James on a family holiday shopping trip to Kingston. Listen to the interview again HERE.

Well, that’s all we have time for. Check out the full playlist with artist links below and share your love for all the great folk and roots music out there. Thanks to all the artists who share their music with us, and thank you for listening. We have a lot of great music to bring you on future shows. I hope you’ll join us! You can listen to this show again on Mixcloud by following the link below.

Folk Roots Radio: Episode 234 James Keelaghan by Folk Roots Radio on Mixcloud

Nicolas & The Iceni (Theme)
Lucy She Rises (Demo)
Roll Right (expected 2015)

James Bruce Moore
(Single) (2015, Self) CDN

The Refugee
Demo (2015, Self)

Emma’s Revolution
One (2004, Moving Forward Music)

Lynn Miles
What If You Were A Refugee
Demo (2015, Self) CDN

Jesse Palidofsky
I Am An Immigrant
(Single) (2015, Azalea City Recordings)

Adriana Ciccone
The Two Old Times
The Back of Winter (2015, Self) CDN

James Keelaghan
Glory Bound
History: The First 25 Years (2013, Borealis Records) CDN

Interview: James Keelaghan joins us to chat about his upcoming Guelph show and Summerfolk 2016. Listen to the interview again HERE.

James Keelaghan
Kiri’s Piano
History: The First 25 Years
History: The First 25 Years (2013, Borealis Records) CDN

Bruce Cockburn
Wondering Where the Lions Are
Slice O Life – Live Solo (2009, True North) CDN

Big Little Lions
The Way Home
Paper Cage (2014, Riptide Music Group) CDN

The East Pointers
Places You’ll Go
Secret Victory (2015, Self) CDN

Lindi Ortega
Faded Gloryville
Faded Gloryville (2015, Last Gang Records) CDN

About the author


Host of Folk Roots Radio, Jan Hall started in Radio in 1993 at WEFT 90.1fm in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Folk Roots Radio (formerly Royal City Rag) debuted on CFRU 93.3fm in August 2005 before developing into a syndicated radio show. As the host of Folk Roots Radio, Jan focuses on bringing new folk, roots and blues music and the voices of upcoming and independent artists to the airwaves. Jan is also a much sought after stage host and festival emcee. In 2019, Jan Hall received Folk Music Ontario's prestigious Estelle Klein Award for her contribution to Ontario's folk music community.

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