Voice and the love of song is what it's about on Keelaghan's latest CD A Few Simple Verses. On this album, James sings other people's songs, longtime favourites of his. "Some I learned when I was very young, songs my dad would sing," he says. "Some are songs that have been important in my musical development, some I chose for emotional reasons. All of them are lyrically superior, melodically appealing."
"And they tell good stories," he adds. It's all part of Keelaghan's tradition, the vital world of rumour, love, document and adventure that is folk music.
"Superb Interpertation of Traditional songs By one of canada's leading singer songwriters"
James Keelaghan's style is direct and uncomplicated, but he is not one of those bog-standard folk bashers for whom simplicity is not only a virtue but a necessity......with the distinctly non-traditional aid of broadband, the backing musicians include the world's finest Irish band, Danu, and one of the best folk duos, Nancy Fagan and James Kerr, adding spice to a work of unassuming quality.
James Keelaghan returns to his British Isles roots on this elegantly rendered set of mostly traditional songs. Is clear the songs were chosen for their exceptionally high quality, their compelling stories and melodies and for their suitability to Keelaghan's beautiful and expressive tenor
Greg Quill- Toronto Star
Arguably, Keelaghan sings with one of the most glorious male voices in the folk community. It is not only a treat to the ear, but it's a voice that fully illuminates the songs it transmits. Furthermore, this recording focuses on Keelaghan's voice and guitar, with tasteful and subtle production
This is the kind of recording that keeps traditional music vital and alive for coming generations, while it remains a pleasure to contemporary ears.
Sing Out Magazine