Ceili Rain
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Ceili Rain

Syracuse, New York, United States | INDIE

Syracuse, New York, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Celtic


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"4.5 out of 5 stars!"

Sounds like … the vocals and melodic sensibilities of The Beatles or The Redwalls with Irish instrumentation, recalling the songwriting of Keith Green or Sara Groves and the styles of Billy Joel, Big Daddy Weave, and Dave Matthews Band.

At a glance … this is one of Ceili Rain's stronger efforts, thanks to the band's unique style and the strength of Bob Halligan Jr.'s challenging songcraft.

A pity that Ceili Rain doesn't get more recognition for all they've offered over the last decade. Bob Halligan Jr. has the plaintive, tender vocal of John Lennon and the melodic sensibilities of Paul McCartney. Both Beatle-esque qualities match well with the band's love of Irish music, giving equal weight to violin, accordion, and whistle with guitars and rhythm. Now that they've added alto sax to the mix, Ceili Rain further demonstrates they're not confined to one sound, capable of jamming like Dave Matthews Band or early Big Daddy Weave.

What's sadly most overlooked is Halligan's way with words—as a songwriter, he's not unlike Sara Groves and Keith Green. But people seem to be taking more notice with the band's latest, Whatever Makes You Dance. The catalyst is "Kneeling," a simple ballad creating a stir on K-LOVE radio by suggesting prayer as the best position on war—though I wish there was more than repetition to the chorus, it deserves praise as a meaningful response to current events. Even bolder is "Die Trying," which draws the same conclusion while offering difficult perspectives from the sides involved in the war on terrorism.

Lest you think Halligan is focused on a single topic, he also offers playfully challenging songs about sanctimonious piety ("Joy-Robbers"), living love out loud ("Shush"), listening to God in prayer ("Shut Up and Pray"), and establishing loving parental authority that reflects our heavenly Father (cute-but-awkwardly titled "I'm Not Dude, I'm Dad"). "If God Was Chocolate" may seem silly in imagining what it'd be like to experience God through the forgotten sense of taste, but give it a chance to discover how smart it really is.

That's but a sampling of Halligan's strong songcraft, which can sometimes seem underdeveloped ("I Treasure You"), opaque ("Window in the Wall"), or simplistic (worshipful and catchy "Say Yes to You"). However, more often than not, Ceili Rain remains one of the more thoughtful and unique Christian bands around, seemingly on its way to earn more attention.

- Christianity Today

"Billboard Magazine 1998"

"Music that makes your feet want to dance and your soul soar." - Deborah Evans Price

"Billboard Magazine 2000"

Billboard names top albums of 2000...
1.Don Henley
2.Randy Travis
3.LeeAnn Womack
5.Third Day
6.Wayne Kirkpatrick... - Country/Christian Music Editor

"CCM Magazine"

"So you think Nashville's nothing but a country-n-Jesus music mecca? Bethcha'd never thunk a seven piece Celtic folk-rock band would stand Music City on its jaded cauliflower ears! But that's exactly what's happened with Ceili Rain. This jubilant hip-shakin' band-with it's big showmanship splashes and subtle strokes of Christian lyrical themes-has packed out Nashville clubs..." - Dave Urbanski

"South Bend Tribune"

"Ceili Rains performance showed (religious or not/celtic or not) that the band's philosophy comes through as a positive force that invites its audience to join together in a sprited, open community." - Andrew Hughes

"Philadelphia Daily News"

"Ceili Rain sprinkles their music with the celtic seasonings of fiddle, accordian, penny whistles, and bagpipes and pumps out some merry jigs indeed. Yet they're as smooth, tuneful and easy going down as the brightest pop-rock. (Imagine the Chieftains and The Beatles collaborating.)" - Johnathon Takiff


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."

This reviewer couldn't agree more with the above statement; Halligan truly speaks to the listener's heart, mind and soul, as he sings about the Christian spiritual truths that he finds at work in his own life, his dependence on his relationship with the Lord. The lyrics are supported by spiritual values that are important to Halligan and people of faith, and can be inspiring to those who are seeking faith.

- Julie Carr

"The Phantom Tollbooth"

"And now for something completely different." Ceili (say "KAY-lee") Rain, led by songwriter-musician Bob Halligan, Jr., brings a freshly energized sound to the contemporary Christian music scene. Billing itself as a "Celtic-rock band," the troupe offers happy acoustic music with a decidedly European flavor. Ceili Rain achieves its unique sound by utilizing unusual instruments such as uilleann pipes, tin whistles, accordions, violin, and an emphasis on Irish music."

- Zik Jackson


I Made Lemonade-2009
Whatever Makes You Dance-2006
Ceili Rain Anthology DVD-2005
Ceili Rain Anthology CD-2005
Change in Your Pocket-2003
No You No Me- 2002
Erasers on Pencils-2000
We're Makin A Party LIVE!-1999
Say Kay-Lee-1997

Ceili Rain has had numerous radio releases that have been played on multiple radio formats. They have released 4 full videos of which 2 are award winning.



According to their website: "Ceili" (say: KAY-lee) is a Gaelic (Irish) word that means "party," specifically one with live musicians, dancing and general merriment. "Coeli" is a form of the Latin word for "heaven." Rain is that stuff that falls from the sky. Thus, Ceili Rain is a "downpour of heavenly partiness."

CEILI RAIN is an innovative blend of pop-rock music with a dash of Celtic/Irish flavor and a subtle, but sincere, spiritual message. The band is led by frontman, Bob Halligan Jr. As a songwriter, Bob Halligan, Jr., has had over 140 songs recorded by well-known rock artists, including Cher, Michael Bolton, Judas Priest, KISS, Kathy Mattea, Bob Carlisle, Rebecca St. James, Jump 5, Maire Brennan and countless others. He has published over 870 songs and his songs have sold more than 30 million units.

In 1995, Bob Halligan Jr (while living in Nashville) sat down with his dear friend Dan Keen from ASCAP. Dan looked him in the eye and said: Bob, buddy, I think you have to decide if you want this be a Christian band or a mainstream band. Bob's reply set up & defined the joys & struggles of the last 15 years: Dan, I have decided. I want it to be CEILI RAIN! Stupid or stubborn, you decide! Now 15+ years and 56 band members later, he still loves the mission of this group: 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 rocknroll and Celtic flavors in a way that is exciting, danceable, joyous and musically solid.

The discography of CEILI RAIN continues to grow due to the overwhelming support of a seriously committed underground fan base. Fans of this band have given up everything to drive across the country to follow their favorite fella's and label artists representing a variety of musical styles have even gone on to cover CEILI RAIN tunes. For example, Christian recording artist Rebecca St James covered the song ME THEN YOU THEN YOU THEN ME on her incredibly successful CD titled GOD. Kathy Mattea not only covered the song LOVE TRAVELS but she went on to name an entire tour after the song.

In 2004 CEILI RAIN released CHANGE IN YOUR POCKET found on the OCP/Spirit and Song Record Label and distributed to the mainstream by Compendia Music/Koch Entertainment. This CD went on to win 5 UNITY AWARDS and spawned 3 videos. One of the highlights of this release was their trip to Ireland where 2 of the videos were filmed. These videos are now showing on video channels across the world.

CEILI RAIN has played some of the top venues in the country including Reliant Stadium, The RCA Dome and The Georgia Dome. They have played many key festivals from Kingdom Bound to CreationFest to World Youth Day. They have been invited to perform at numerous celtic and community events from the Slainte Festival to the Bethlehem Musikfest. They have played at major conferences including NCYC and Youth Specialties and have even performed for major corporations like Nextel. International travels have taken them to several countries including Canada, Belgium, Italy and others.

In Fall 2006, CEILI RAIN released their 5th studio album titled, WHATEVER MAKES YOU DANCE. There's no doubt whether you are a new CEILI RAIN fan or a die hard CEILI RAIN fan that there is truly something for everyone on this CD. The first radio single to come from this CD was a powerful ballad called KNEELING. The song hit big on KLOVE Christian radio and peaked at 12 on the national CRW Radio Chart. Fans from all faiths, and from all political parties agreed KNEELING is a song with a powerful message. The song was also a finalist in the International Songwriters Competition.

...and so it goes...along comes 2009 and the release of the sixth CD project titled I MADE LEMONADE! With great anticipation and excitement this project (released as an independent CD on Mima Rekidz) was 100% funded and sponsored by loyal friends and fans. A new concept for sure-but a wonderful opportunity to celebrate with those who have supported CEILI RAIN and all the merriment that comes with it. I MADE LEMONADE was inspired by the debates, the troubles, and the love that surrounds BHjr and Ceili Rain. He wanted the songs to be simple without being “dopey”. He wanted a bigger sounding record that listeners could turn up loud. Although Ceili Rain records have always been prayerful, “Lemonade” is sometimes a bit more overt with the spirituality. But, BHjr’s penchant for remaining subtle and below the radar is never fully ignored! I MADE LEMONADE will encourage you to Trust On-Love On-Joy On! Sometimes it really is, the best way to be.

So...Kick off your shoes, stand on a table, grab yourself a pint, dance a jig and join CEILI RAIN as they carry on in their pursuit of heavenly partiness!!

Ceili Rain can adjust their personnel to fit your event budget with as few as 3 members to as many as 7 members! We'