Seamus Kelleher
[Seamus Kelleher's Website]

   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"

Message from Seamus - January 2011

THE NEXT LEG OF THE JOURNEY

Hope the New Year is off to a good start for everyone. After fifteen years, close to 1200 shows, and more than a couple of beers, my career with the band Blackthorn comes to a conclusion with my final show with the band on Saturday, January 29 at Archbishop Ryan high school in Philadelphia. We also have a show this coming Saturday for the Black Jack Kehoe Division 4 of the AOH at the Knights of Columbus hall in Springfield PA. Click here for all the details. As you can imagine, this will be an emotional few weeks with the band. Fifteen years is a long time and Iíve enjoyed every minute of it. Weíve played so many different venues all over the East Coast and we did some great trips to Ireland and the Caribbean. It would be hard top pick my favorite gig. The thing Iím most proud of is that we always gave a hundred percent on stage no matter what the venue, crowd size, or money. I think that had a lot to do with our success. Iím sure Blackthorn will have continued success for many years to come and I look forward to sharing the stage with them from time to time. I want to take this opportunity to thank John Boyce, Michael Oí Callaghan, Michael Boyce and John McGroary for their friendship during what has been a great chapter in my life.

There is little rest for the wicked. Iíll be doing a solo show at the Moose Lodge in Doylestown PA on Friday, January 28. I did a show there before Christmas and it was an absolute blast. Itís a great venue and perfect for my type of show. The audience was a mix of all ages. Iíll be travelling across the country for my day job most of February and heading to Asia in March. I will have one special pre-St. Patrickís Day show at the Moose Lodge in Doylestown on Friday, March 11. Iíve already lined up some fun shows in the PA area for April and May. Iíll send out a brief update before then with all the details. Iíll be updating my website over the next few weeks. It will have lots of youtube clips with some new music. I look forward to getting around to see many of you in 2011. I do hope itís a happy, healthy, and productive year for all of you. Thanks so much for your support and encouragement as I embark on this new leg of my journey.

All the best,

Seamus

By: Anne Oliver