James Keelaghan & Hugh McMillan

James Keelaghan is one of Canada best exports. He is a warm, passionate and articulate songwriter and performer. His passionate mix of roots rock, Americana, and contemporary folk has established has established his career as a truly international performer.

Many of the lyrics in his songs display a concern about social problems and justice in society. Examples of such themes include “Kiri’s Piano”, about the internment of Japanese Canadians, and others, inspired by events and figures in Canadian history. Some of his songs concern tragic historical events, such as “Fires of Calais,” about the 1940 Dunkirk evacuation of Allied troops during World War II. Keelaghan’s lilting baritone voice, driving rhythm guitar, and a sense of scene and narrative result in his ability to bridge traditional folk music with roots revival and Celtic music

He is joined by his regular touring partner, multi-instrumentalist Hugh McMillan who plays octave mandolin, mandolin, bass, fretless bass, 8 String Bass, pedal steel and lap steel, just for starters.

Southwell Festival