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Yamaha Sessions: Jamie McKeogh

Feb 28, 2024


It was early fall when we met with JigJam guitarist Jamie McKeogh just outside of Nashville, Tennessee to capture this brand new, exclusive Yamaha Session.

For his first selection, McKeogh picked up his gorgeous custom Yamaha acoustic guitar and performed “Streets of London,” a song written by Ralph McTell and popularized in bluegrass circles by Tony Rice. McKeogh laughs as he plays through a handful of takes of the tune, trying to remember the order of the verses and hoping he’ll do Rice and McTell justice with his slightly Celtic-infused rendition. His voice is warm and cozy, accompanied by free and tender transatlantic flatpicking that references Rice as often as it explores brand new sonic territories. “Streets of London” shines with McKeogh’s – and JigJam’s – classic treatment, processing American roots music through a Celtic and Irish bluegrass lens.

To cap his Yamaha Sessions, McKeogh picks a lovely, danceable Irish jig, “Humours of Ballyloughlin,” showcasing some of the folk and vernacular techniques that distinguish Irish guitar picking from its American and bluegrass cousins. Bright, staccato triplets and trills demonstrate how adept Yamaha guitars can be at code switching between genres, styles, and musical vocabularies. Punctuated with broad, deep strums and exciting improvisations, it’s as if McKeogh is using “Ballyloughlin” to draw a deliberate diagram that connects these musical traditions, separated by merely the Atlantic Ocean.

It was a pleasure to get to enjoy Jamie McKeogh’s stylings in a rare solo context, though we highly recommend that, after you check out these Yamaha Sessions videos, you also check out his music made with JigJam. There’s plenty to love for all fans of Irish, Celtic, bluegrass, and old-time musics.

Video Credit: Schuyler Howie & Robert Chavers, Solar Cabin Creative

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Yamaha Sessions: Jamie McKeogh
Yamaha Sessions: Jamie McKeogh