Ceili Rain (pronounced Kay-lee) was formed in 1995 by veteran songwriter Bob Halligan, Jr. The Syracuse, N.Y native had been thinking conceptually about combining Celtic instrumentation within a pop-rock setting since 1989, and had received encouragement from his wife Linda to move forward with the idea. Formerly, he had written songs that had been recorded by heavy metal artists such as Judas Priest and Blue Oyster Cult, but was uncomfortable of the association with negatively perceived artists. He had also written with Michael Bolton, and had his songs recorded by such diverse artists as Cher, Kathy Mattea, and Joan Jett.
Halligan also recorded a solo album in 1991 that went nowhere on the charts. By 1995, Halligan had moved from New York to Nashville, finding the atmosphere there more suited to what he was pursuing. Wanting to combine the Celtic influences that he had grown to like with his solid rock songwriting skills, Halligan formed Ceili Rain. (loosely translated in Gaelic as "heavenly party") They honed their skills in concerts, and finally signed with the independent label Punch Records. The 1997 album combined uplifting spiritual messages, Celtic Rock influences, solid pop-rock songwriting skills, and received strong reviews from many publications, including Billboard. ~ Michael Ofjord