His song “Cold Missouri Waters”, about the Mann Gulch fire of 1949, was covered by the band Cry Cry Cry in 1998. His songs have also been covered by folk luminaries such as Roy Bailley and Garnet Rogers.
Keelaghan studied history at the University of Calgary and notes that two of his influences there were Drs. Margaret J. Osler and Siverman.
With international popularity from Australia to England, James Keelaghan plays a wide variety of venues from large festivals and concert halls to intimate folk clubs venues and often invites the audience for a beer after his performance.
Frequent guest musicians on his albums include Stephen Fearing, Oscar Lopez and members of Spirit of the West. His latest CD, A Few Simple Verses (2006), is a return to his roots with covers of traditional songs and old favourites. Guests include Danú, Veda Hille, James Fagan and Nancy Kerr.