The "Blade" of Blackthorn, Seamus Kelleher, has been a Professional musician for more than thirty years. Kelleher, originally from Galway, started playing with rock bands in Ireland when he was 15. Kelleher says Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix were both influential to him. "I also really respect the work of Rory Gallagher, Phil Lynnott, Christy Moore, and Paul Brady," said Kelleher.
His first visit to the United States was during a tour with the band Rock & Roll Circus. Not long after that he permanently moved to the U.S. at the age of 20. While continuing to play with a variety of bands including Sean Fleming in venues such as Carnegie Hall in New York to Prague in the Czech Republic, Kelleher earned a degree in music at Montclair University, and later a master's degree in Communications. He produced two Irish television shows called "Erin's Focus," and "Irish Eyes," for New York cable stations. He also produced a documentary called "Heartstrings," about New York's homeless people which aired on CNBC and which won a Certificate Of Merit at the Cork film festival. In 1988, Seamus founded an organization called Celtic Care to raise money for the New York home. To-Date, the organization has raised over $100,000 for the homeless. In 1992 Seamus was named Community Person Of The Year by Aer Lingus and The Irish Voice for his work with the homeless.
Blackthorn knew of Seamus from seeing him play with Fleming in Philly and the Jersey shore. Seamus says he left Sean Fleming in 1995 because he needed a break, and three months later Paul approached him about playing with Blackthorn. I wasn't aware of how successful Blackthorn was when I agreed to play with them. After a few night I began to realize that there was something different about this band, says Kelleher.
According to Kelleher the secret to Blackthorn's success is a combination of commitment to music and the ability to have fun. "Blackthorn has a total commitment to each performance. I've never played a gig where each member of the band hasn't given 100 percent. That separates us from 99 percent of other bands. We are always looking to see what we can do to make the performance better. We have a good Balance between being serious about the music and having fun doing it. We have a total commitment to our craft, but we are having more fun than legally allowed. I dont know where all this is going to end up but I know for sure that these are the good times. I am very proud of our new album, The Other Side, it captures a side of the band that most people may not have seen. The album reflects our personalities warts and all. I am really looking forward to watching peoples reaction"
By: Anne Oliver