Their Band's name gives
the listener a big hint on what their music is like. Taken from their
website, their name is defined: "Ceili, is a Gaelic word meaning 'a
party with live music and dancing,' kind of like an Irish square dance.There's
also a Latin word, 'Coeli', that means Heaven. Rain symbolizes that
all of this good stuff comes down to us from the Heavens above."
Their unique musical style
is a combination of traditional hard-driving rock drum / guitar back
up and solos with traditional Celtic- inspired melodies, rhythms, drums,
syncopated music, sounds, all made by Celtic instruments such as button
accordion, tin whistle, fiddle, and bagpipes. Ceili Rain makes music
that is, as their song writer, Bob Halligan puts it, "Celtic music for
a pop/rock palate."
Very much like "a seven-headed
musical joy-monster" an accurate description affectionately coined by
Kathy Mattea, Ceili Rain gives high energy, enthusiastic performances
of their uniquely composed Christian music, that people can relate to
on several levels of enjoyment and understanding. Like their other CD's,
NO YOU - NO ME offers personal slices of life, seen through Bob Haligan's
life experiences, his dependence on the Lord, as a source of his strength,
guidance, love, and inspiration, and his love for Jesus Christ. They
are beautifully written, with both meaningful lyrics and a nice variety
of catchy music, ranging from Celtic style rock/ dance music to stirring
ballads and songs of personal faith which makes this CD very interesting
to listen to and enjoy.
Through his songs, Bob
Halligan "speaks to the listener's heart, mind, and soul," says Phil
Smith, music director at WJTL Lancaster, PA. "He is a wordsmith and
tells parables of faith rarely found in today's songwriters."
Ceili Rain's first TV appearance,
with the band, Among Thorns was on November 1st, 2002 on TBN. "Cross
Driven Records recording artists Celt/pop/rock band Ceili Rain and Worship
Extreme recording artists Among Thorns will now be seen on TBN1s new
Youth Network premiering on Friday, November 1."
More About Bob Halligan Jr. And Ceili Rain
his long career in music, Bob Halligan Jr. has sold 30 million records worldwide.
the 1980's and 1990's Bob wrote songs for both secular and Christian music artists,
having one foot in each musical world. By 1984, Bob became known as the heavy
metal song doctor for secular musicians such as KISS, Joan Jett, Blue Oyster Cult
( "Beat'em Up" *"Make Rock Not War") and Judas Priest ("Take
these Chains" *Heads are Going to Roll), writing 27 songs for groups in one
year. Bob Halligan Jr.'s songs helped artists earn 9 or 10 gold / platinum records. Christian artists such as Rebecca
St. James, Bob Carlisle and others made good use of his Christian-themed songs
to promote their musical ministries as well.
Bob Halligan Jr. was still searching for his own sound in the late 1980's, and
went through a learning process, exploring music with other writers, making a
good living at the same time writing songs for Cher and others. From 1986-1990,
he enjoyed many vocal recording sessions on various projects with artists such
as Billy Joel and Michael Bolton.
was his wife, Linda who suggested to him that he should try mixing pop rock with
Celtic music. After trying it, he loved it and the path to being frontman for
Ceili Rain had begun, though some bumps in his road were ahead of him beforehand.
In 1990, His own album of songs, WINDOW IN THE WALL was ahead of its time, and
didn't do well, which was discouraging, painful and depressing, but not a roadblock.
It is tough to succeed in the arts, and it takes strong faith and determination
to go forward, which is just what Bob Halligan Jr. did, by getting back up on
the horse so to speak and worked on this idea some more about combining pop-rock
with a Celtic sound. Thankfully, he persevered!!
1995, Bob Halligan Jr. made the hard choice to leave secular mainstream music
behind, and jumped with both feet into composing and performing "prayerful
and though-provoking pop-rock," mixing in a strong dose of Celtic musical
flavor, creating a delightful creative sound, manifesting itself in his new band,
Ceili Rain. Bob Halligan and Ceili Rain got noticed
with their debut album, Say Kay-lee, launching their long successful career, which
had its joys and struggles as any endeavor has, such as having a lot of turnovers
in band members. However, Bob Halligan Jr. has found a satisfaction one feels
in serving the Lord through his or her talents and gifts.
Halligan Jr. explains in his
web-site Bio, "56 band members into it, I still love the mission of this
group as I see it, which is to bring faith-based music to people of all faiths
(and no faith); to encourage people to talk to (and more important LISTEN to)
God whether or not they feel the slightest inclination to do so; to mix rock’n’roll
and Celtic flavors in a way that is exciting, danceable, joyous and musically
Kay-lee CD, Bob Halligan Jr. and Ceili Rain's other albums are "We're makin'
a Party Live," "No You No Me," "Erasers Or Pencils,"
"Change In Your Pocket," and "Ceili Rain Anthology." They
earned 5 Unity Awards from these successful efforts.
06 Unity Awards - Bob Halligan Jr accepted the awards for MUSIC VIDEO OF THE YEAR
for "Hallways of Always" (from the Change In Your Pocket CD) and for
GROUP OF THE YEAR…2 years in a row!
brings their total of Unity Awards to 7!
Halligan Jr. graciously agreed to answer some interview questions for ChristianMusic.com.
1. Early life and growing up years.. Where did you grow
Bob Halligan Jr. - "SYRACUSE, NY."
life? Bob Halligan
Jr. - "ADOPTED, ONLY
CHILD, WONDERFUL PARENTS WHO LED ME TO BELIEVE THAT ANYTHING WAS POSSIBLE."
talents or attitudes / character qualities were you encouraged to develop?
Bob Halligan Jr. - PERSEVERANCE!!
GENEROSITY CAME LATER through MY WIFE’S TUTELAGE.
3. Did you grow up in a Christian home and /or have a Christian church family,
or did you find the Lord later?
Halligan Jr. - "GREW UP IN CATHOLIC CHURCH, WHERE I REMAIN."
was your early musical experience? When did you start playing the guitar/ writing
songs? First performances?
Halligan Jr. - "HAVE PLAYED PIANO FOR 46 YEARS, GUITAR
FOR 40. PLAYED GUITAR AT FOLK MASSES IN LATE 60s."
5. Spiritual Influences: What has helped you grow spiritually?
As you grew up? In your adult years?
shares, "MY MOM & DAD, NY-JEWISH MANAGER BARRY BERGMAN,
MY WIFE, ALL THE GREAT FOLKS I’VE MET IN EVERY KIND OF CHURCH AND CHURCH-WORLD."
6. How did the Lord prepare you for your life of service
Halligan Jr. - "I’VE
HAD SUCCESS IN MAINSTREAM MUSIC WORLD; MY SONGS HAVE SOLD 30 MILLION UNITS. GAVE
ME A NAME AND A HEADSTART."
7. How were you led by the Lord to use your musical gifts
to write and sing songs? (A question of interest from our younger readers, and
one that is fascinating to me as well)
explains, "WAS A GOD THING, A FEW KEY PEOPLE PUSHED ME,
WROTE LOTS OF SONGS FOR/WITH CHRISTIAN ARTIST AND DEAR FRIEND, RICK CUA."
8. Any life-molding experiences
you would like to share with us, which were pleasant or were difficult, but molded
your thinking, music, Christian walk, outlook on life etc.
gave this reflective answer, "REJECTION HAS TAUGHT ME WHO
MY REAL FRIEND IS."
personal testimony you would like to share to encourage others, what the Lord
has done for you?
Bob shares, "IF YOU GO WITH GOD, ALL WILL BE AS IT SHOULD BE. NEVER
STRAY, NEVER SHY AWAY FROM THE TRUTH, NEVER LIE TO PEOPLE."
asked Bob Halligan Jr. more about his music....
the songs based on what has been learned spiritually, or life experience or leadings
of the Holy Spirit? OR How were you inspired to create your music?
Halligan Jr.- " I DO
WHAT GOD ASKS ME TO DO- IT’S A SIMPLE AND VERY EXCITING PROCESS."
11. Musical Influences: What Artists (secular and Christian)
influenced you growing up or now which have influenced your singing style, performance
skills and / or composing?
shares, "BEATLES, STONES, RANDY NEWMAN, STEVIE
WONDER, SPRINGSTEEN, JONI MITCHELL, JOHN HIATT, STEVE EARLE, RICH MULLINS, BRUCE
HORNSBY, COUSIN DICK FROM BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS."
Halligan Jr. composes from both the piano and guitar. Like many artists, He has
his own method of putting songs together. ChristianMusic.com found out when we
asked him, Do the lyrics come first?
Halligan Jr. - "USUALLY A TITLE, THEN I WRITE
THE CHORUS MUSIC, THEN WRITE MUSIC FOR A VERSE AND FILL IN THE BLANKS."
asked Bob Halligan Jr. about the fascinating melody found in DIE TRYING - "What
key or tonal scale did you use to create this captivating melody? Or was it composed
in a minor key with accidentals added?
explained in detail about his creative process, "GREAT
QUESTION! WAS MEANT TO CONJURE A MIDDLE-EASTERN FLAVOR.. I MERELY SANG INTO A
TAPE RECORDER AND FOUND THE CHORDS FOR IT AFTERWARD. I LIKE TO LET MY MELODIC
TREASURE-HUNTING GO FREE, NO EDITING OR JUDGING AS IT HAPPENS, PICK UP THE PIECES
AFTER THE INITIAL PUKEAGE. DIFFERENT MODES AT PLAY AT DIFFERENT TIMES, BUT A LOT
OF MIXING AND BENDING OF RULES ALONG THE PATH. CERTAINLY AEOLIAN AT TIMES, BUT
ALSO TO MAJOR APPROACH IN CHORUS."
14. Any Composing from jamming together with a Co-writer or Musicians?
states, "USED TO DO LOTS OF THAT, MUCH LESS NOW...
15. Are Responsibilities
divided?… (Someone contributes to the lyrics, someone else creates the composition).
Halligan Jr. - "MOSTLY ME."
16. Lyrics: Any comments on the themes of the songs?
Bob Halligan Jr. - "LOOKING AFTER FELLOW MAN, DOING THE RIGHT THING,
BEING OPEN TO GOD’S REAL TRUTH RATHER THAN EARTHLY SPIN."
favorites, and why?
Halligan Jr. - "ALL OF EM!! CAUSE GOD GAVE
THEM TO ME AND I LOVE BEING THE PENCIL IN HIS HAND!!!"
stories on what led you to compose the lyrics?
Halligan Jr. - "MY LIFE FOLLOWING GOD. THINGS
THAT MADE ME LAUGH OR TICKED ME OFF!! “KNEELING” IS A RESPONSE TO PEOPLE SPINNING
THE TRUTH TO THEIR OWN PURPOSES INSTEAD OF JUST ASKING GOD WHAT’S THE RIGHT THING
Julie Carr - for ChristianMusic.com
Ceili Rain Review 1 * Ceili Rain Review 2 * Ceili Rain Review 3
"NO YOU - NO ME" VIDEO * "WHATEVER MAKES YOU DANCE " VIDEO