James Keelaghan is a singer-songwriter with a remarkable ability to bring stories to life through songs such as “Small Rebellions” (highlighting the 1931 slaughter of peaceful striking miners in Bienfait, SK); “Hillcrest Mine” (a prelude to the worst coal mining disaster in Canadian history); “Kiri’s Piano” (a triumph over adversity amidst the shameful, racist treatment of Japanese-Canadians during WWII); and “Cold Missouri Waters” (a harrowing portrait of the 1949 Mann Gulch Fire in the mountains of Montana). Add to that catalogue some of his beautiful but heartbreaking ballads, and it’s clear why Dave Marsh, the eminent Rolling Stone critic, simply described James as “Canada’s finest songwriter”. In support of that assessment, James won a JUNO for his 1993 recording, My Skies, and won first prize (folk category) in the Annual USA Songwriting Competition in 2003. Always a welcome Folk Harbour performer, James had made four previous Festival appearances dating back to 1991. For this year’s Festival, James will be joined by David Woodhead.


Thursday – 2:30 p.m. St. John’s Anglican Church (45-minute Folk Steps – The Story Told in Song)
Friday – 3:30 p.m. Lunenburg Opera House (90-minute Circle – Songwriters’ Tales Lynn Miles H,
James Keelaghan, Mo Kenney, and Carmel Mikol)
Saturday – 4:00 p.m. St. John’s Anglican Church (50-minute set)
Sunday – 10:00 a.m. Main Stage Tent (one song Sunday Morning Gospel Concert)
Sunday – 3:30 p.m. Lunenburg Opera House (90-minute Circle – Tales of Canadiana with James
Keelaghan H , Suzie Vinnick, Sherry Ryan, and Joe Henry)
Sunday – 9:20 p.m. Main Stage (40-minute set)