James Keelaghan and Hugh McMillan

The internationally recognised Canadian folk singer and songwriter James Keelaghan is the very welcome guest at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 25th September – his third appearance at the Club. He is a terrific artist and it’s great that he is back in Irvine as part of his current UK tour.

Calgary born but now based in Perth in Eastern Ontario, James has been in the music business for almost 30 years and has twelve albums to his name. It’s said that he has one of the most distinctive and easily identifiable voices in Canada. James is an acclaimed and popular member of the international singer and songwriter community and his albums have brought him an impressive share of nominations and awards from Australia to Scandinavia.

James’ Dad was an Irish man and his Mum was English and they encouraged James’ interest in language, storytelling and music.  His Dad was a great storyteller and James says he is still trying to be as good as his Dad. James has a passion for history and in particular about science and WW1.  He writes songs of a historical nature with underlying universal themes and the tangled emotional paths of human relationships.  James is a baritone and plays acoustic guitar, as well as his own material, he also does some covers, Gordon Lightfoot being a favourite.

James’ other passion is reading and books. In any one year he will get through around 80 books. His songwriting talent may also have been influenced by his fondness for the work of W.B Yeats – a fondness which started when he was 14.

As well as touring extensively, James also leads coach tours in Ireland which are a mix of visits to places off the beaten track and folk music. He has just completed the most recent one earlier this month before starting his UK tour with Hugh McMillan.

Hugh is also Canadian and describes himself as a folk/jazz/rock musician. He is a member of the folk rock band Spirit of the West and a multi-instrumentalist.

Expect to hear a mix of roots, rock and contemporary folk when James Keelaghan & Hugh McMillan play at Irvine Folk Club on Wednesday 25th September in Vineburgh Community Centre. The Club starts at 8pm.