James Keelaghan returns to Marblehead (Sophie Buskin opens!)
Called Canadas finest singer-songwriter by one of the most respected and lauded music journalists of the last 50 years, James Keelaghan is an artist who has proven to be a man for all seasons.
As the calendar pages have turned, for almost a quarter of a century now, this poet laureate of the folk
and roots music world has gone about his work with a combination of passion, intent, and intensity, and
Fusing his insatiable appetite for finding the next unique storyline Keelaghan also forges his pieces
with brilliantly defined craftsmanship and a monogrammed artistic vision, making him one of the most
distinctive and readily identifiable voices of not only the Canadian scene but as a member of the
international singer-songwriter community.
Armed with a songbook that has enlightened and enthralled, and been embraced, by audiences
around the world, Keelaghans life as an artist is one that is a perpetual journey on so many
Most importantly its a journey that has invited fans of literate and layered songwriting to be a part of
his artistic expeditions, some that weave their way through marvelously etched stories of a historical
nature with underlying universal themes, and others that mine the depths of the soul and the emotional
trails of human relations.¨His masterful storytelling, over the course of nine recordings, has been part
of the bedrock of his success, earning Keelaghan his share of nominations and awards, and acclaim
from Australia to Scandinavia. The necessity to write has always been a double-edged sword."
"Ive always had the urge to write. Some things werent being said in the way I wanted to say them.
Then there are the different sides of what I write about. The narrative writing, the historical material, as
well as the personal, where you have to take responsibility for what you are saying, says the Calgary
the native who has been calling Winnipeg home for the past few years.A disciplined visionary, Keelaghans
aces have long been a love of language, and history, as he earned a history degree years ago, his skills
as a thespian that he acquired at an early age, that explain his ability to make an immediate connection
with audiences in a live setting, and an ear for a memorable melody, and harmonies that make those
Im good for 80 or so books a year, mostly history, non-fiction, but inspiration can come in many
forms, Im always on the lookout for a good story or idea. My sister told me the story that became
Kiris Piano. It was such an image, says Keelaghan that visits a dark chapter in Canadian history,
Japanese internment camps in the Second World War.â'¨ â'¨Not only does his deep catalog include
timeless originals like Fires of Calais, Cold Missouri Waters, Jenny Bryce, Hillcrest Mine, and Kiris
Piano. Keelaghan is also a possessive interpreter of outside material, a fine example being his gripping
take on Gordon Lightfoots epic Canadian Railroad Trilogy on the Lighfoot Tribute disc Beautiful.
There are a number of illustrations of his interpretive skills on his 2006 recording A Few Simple
Verses. The closing tune on that spellbinding set, My Blood written with Jez Lowe, is one of many
examples in Keelaghans career, where he has invited collaboration into his creative process.
I was at the Celtic Colors Festival in 2008 and the producers locked six of us in a house for a week,
and the company included Dave Gunning, David Francey, and Rose Cousins, it was an amazing
experience. We had to come up with enough material for a show at the end of it.
To go along with a lifelong accumulation of influences, there have been these opportunities to work
with equals, whether if be Oliver Schroer, Hugh McMillan, or Oscar Lopez. The sparks of
collaboration, batting melodies back and forth, whatever, have produced some wonderful results, says
the artist who ties it all together with a powerful voice, delivery, and a commanding presence where he
finds a balance between examining the lighter and heavier sides of life.
For Keelaghan staying at the top of his game comes down to a very clear rule, never stop
I want my audiences to know that I am open enough to try new things and push their bounds.
It was Dave Marsh, the award-winning American music critic and historian who not so long ago stated
that James Keelaghan is Canadas finest songwriter, and those few but powerful words of praise say
it all about an artist who continues to set the bar at a lofty height.
The daughter of two musicians, Brooklyn-based songwriter Sophie Buskin has been singing professionally since age 4. Aside from an extensive jingle and ad background, she has supported legendary artists like Paul Shaffer, Little Anthony, Mason Jennings, Jewel, and Buskin & Batteau. She has just released her first six-song CD titled Sweet Creature.
Her first cd as a songwriter [is] musically exceptional... produced by Steve Jagoda and Neale Eckstein at Fox Run Studios, it is impeccably recorded with an intimate-setting feel that begs one to stop and listen. Her voice is pure and unadulterated, with a vulnerable quality that juxtaposes her way-beyond-her-years lyrics. She brings the listener on a journey through the pangs of love, loss and the grappling to understand the impermanence of it all, still with an underlying push towards renewal. She closes the CD with a loving nod to her father, David Buskin, with When I Need You Most Of All. Order it, get out and go to a show, just get it. This is one not to miss.
- Judy Cangialosi
me and thee (View)
28 Mugford St
Marblehead, MA 01945
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|