Declan Wins Folk Award
Declan has won the BEST ORIGINAL FOLK TRACK for Along the Western Seaboard at the RTE Folk Awards. I was humbled to be the recipient of the first ever award for Best Original Folk Song at the inaugural RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards, at Vicar Street, last Thursday night.The song in question was Along The Western Seaboard from my latest album, Chronicles Of The Great Irish Famine. I was also honoured to be one of 5 nominees in the Best Folk Singer category. This award went to a very worthy winner and amazing voice, in Radie Peat from the band Lankum. My congrats to Radie, and to all the other nominees, who are all super brilliant and deserving in their own right. Congrats to RTE, the Folk Awards team and to all involved in making it a wonderful night. Here are some photos of the evening, courtesy of Mark Stedman who was taking snaps on the night, and if anyone would like to hear my acceptance speech you can do so through this LINK by fast forwarding to approx 01:40:00.
Voted Irish album of the year 2017 – Irish Mail on Sunday… “will surely come to be seen as his defining album.”
Nominated for Album of the year, Critics choice, 2017 – fRoots magazine U.K.
Voted No.1 Folk / Trad release of 2017 – London Celtic Punks webzine.… “An amazing album.”
Voted Album of the year 2017 by Marty Whelan on RTE Lyric fm… “Truly special.”
★★★★ – Songlines Magazine UK… “Delivered with consummate grace. Beautifully played. Exquisitely detailed.”
Reviewed over 13 consecutive days in ‘The Woodstock Whisperer’ online publication, NY… “Remarkable.”
Voted one of Irish Beats ‘Best Irish Albums of 2017’… “A masterpiece.”
“A work of art from start to finish. This will be around forever.” Lynette Fay – Folk Club, BBC Radio Ulster.
“Epic” – Cara (Aer Lingus inflight magazine).
Chronicles Of The Great Irish Famine was released in October 2017. Fifteen years in the making, this epic song cycle combines the best of traditional Irish music and the heart of modern song-writing to present a series of extraordinary true tales from the most dynamic period in Irelands history.
‘Poor Boys Shoes’ the first song of the collection, was inspired by a passage from John O’Connor’s book “The Workhouses of Ireland.” O’Rourke recalls, “The hair stood up on my neck when I read the lines ‘The man who carried his wife from the workhouse to their old home, mile after weary mile, and was discovered next morning dead, his wife’s feet held to his breast as if he was trying to warm them…’ I had stumbled into a chapter of history I knew almost nothing about. I wanted to share these stories the best way I knew how, through song.”
The Great Irish Famine, An Gorta Mór, was by far the most impactful era in the recorded history of Ireland. The effect on the population was so devastating that seven generations and 170 years later, Irelands population is still far from where it was in the 1840s. The Famine marked the beginning of a boom in Irish immigration resulting in over 80 million across the world claiming Irish heritage today.
The album covers hyper-real photo illustration features O’Rourke and band members re-enacting a scene from one historical tale. Following the ambush and shooting of the landlord Manning in Co.Westmeath, locals formed a mob, found Manning’s body, hacked the corpse into pieces and threw them into a ditch.
In another story from 1849, the 23 year old captain Curry Shaw abandoned his passengers and made off in the only lifeboat when ‘The Hannah’ struck ice in the frigid waters off Newfoundland. He left them to their fate. In an age where people are still fleeing their homelands en masse, struggling to escape tyranny and poverty, too often in vessels unfit for human transportation, these stories are as relevant as ever and speak to us of our own humanity. Says O’Rourke, “The songs in this project are an attempt to bring fresh air to an unhealed wound, and to remind the Irish people of what we have overcome.“
Nine of the album’s musicians including Mike McGoldrick, Dermot Byrne, Floriane Blancke, Jack Maher, Chris Herzberger, Caitríona Frost, Rob Calder and John Sheahan, performed ‘Chronicles’ around Ireland in December 2017 to a standing ovation each night, and will take it abroad throughout 2018 and 2019.
The winter of 2018 will mark the 170th anniversary of the peak of this most significant series of events.
‘Chronicles of the Great Irish Famine’ is available HERE.
KYABRAM IS BACK! NEW RELEASE AND TOUR.
The record is available on vinyl for the first time, and the CD version has been re-packaged into a deluxe 6 panel digipak, that includes a 20 page booklet with lyrics, and new retrospective liner notes by the artist, giving insights into the recording of each song, and the build up to the making of the record.
Look out for snippets of these around the site, and click here to get your copy…
To celebrate the re-release of his classic 2004 debut, O’Rourke will take members of the original band around Ireland this December for a handful of nostalgic, and uplifting shows. Including Galileo, No Brakes, Sarah, Love Is The Way, and Marrying The Sea, the band will play the entire album, along with outakes, and a few surprises!
Kyabram Is Back Tour Dates:
Happy Halloween from Steve Wickham and I from Derry last night where we filmed ‘Samhain Live’ with some of the Kyabram band. Hope you got to tune in!
Samhain Live 2018
It was surreal to perform Galileo in front of a wall of Halloween skeletons but fun all the same and Johnny and the Lantern was fun one to give the aul bones a rattle. Check them out below..
Declan to perform Chronicles of the Great Irish Famine at Manchester Charity Concert
Declan is to perform Chronicles of the Great Irish Famine in its entirety at a special charity concert in aid of Action Against Hunger at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) Manchester, on the evening of Sunday 14th October at 7pm.
Chronicles of the Great Irish Famine is a moving and evocative insight into a chapter of Irish history that has largely faded from collective memory.
Declan spent 15 years researching and developing the album, and will be accompanied by a full band for this landmark concert. This includes John Sheahan on fiddle, whistle and mandolin, Jack Maher on guitar, banjo, mandolin & vocals, Floriane Blanche on harp & vocals, Chris Herzberger on fiddle & viola and Dan Bodwell on Bass.
Francine Heggie, Head of Community Fundraising at Action Against Hunger, says the concert is an apt reminder that famine and its effects are never far away: “Declan’s masterpiece tells a story from 170 years ago, but global hunger is on the rise again, affecting 815 million people in 2016, or 11 per cent of the global population.”
Proceeds from the concert will help support Action Against Hunger’s work saving the lives of malnourished children and providing families with access to safe water and good nutrition in nearly 50 countries around the globe.
Donations can be made at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/liam-ferguson5
Chronicles of the Great Irish Famine has earned widespread critical acclaim and has been nominated for a number of album of the year accolades.
Tickets, priced £24 plus booking fee, are available directly from the RCNM here or via the box office on +44 (0)161 907 5555.
Chronicles of the Great Irish Famine – UK Tour in April
Here’s a short video we made during the recent beautiful, and unexpected show that was put on by ‘The Beast From The East’ storm, a la Mother Nature.
I was reminded that the winter of 1845 into 1846, which marked the beginning of a series of events now known as ‘The Great Irish Famine’ or ‘An Gorta Mór’ was one of the worst winters in living memory across Europe.
Perhaps it wouldn’t have looked so different to this…
When I do get back out on the road next month, I’m very much looking forward to this little UK tour, in celebration of my BBC Folk award nomination.
Chronicles on US iTunes
Delighted to announce that Chronicles Of The Great Irish Famine is finally available on iTunes in the US. You can access it via this link.
NCH Valentines Day 2018
Its just been confirmed in time for Christmas, the annual swoon is on!
Declan will take to the stage of Dublin’s National Concert Hall again on Feb 14th, back by the epic 50 piece RTE Concert Orchestra, and this year there will be at least one surprise special guest to boot. We’re so excited!
Chronicles – Top 5 Irish Albums
The Sun votes Chronicles Of The Great Irish Famine as one of the Top 5 Irish albums of the year.
Read about it here.
Happy Christmas from Declan
Special thanks to all of you out there who have supported Chronicles Of The Great Irish Famine both in its gestation, and through its delivery, and for picking up a copy of the record, and or coming to a show somewhere on the Chronicles Irish Tour.
I’m so proud of this music, and these songs, and what the musicians added to the whole thing just blows my mind. Everybody involved really delivered, and although they were the dream band to put together for this, they brought more than I could have ever dreamed.
I look forward to performing its contents here, there and everywhere with their help for a long time to come.
It is available at most retail outlets throughout Ireland, via mail order at the Warners website, and digitally everywhere else in the world.
It’s crazy out there in the ever changing music industry with artists vying for limited shelf space and fighting the noise to be heard, so if you have any trouble finding the album, or securing a copy please do let us know.
It will help us to make sure it available where it needs to be, and to help you, and other music lovers get your hands on it too.
I want to wish all of you DOR subscribers and your families a wonderful Christmas and holiday season, and I look forward to sharing a wonderful 2018 with you.
For those of you who haven’t got around to hearing the record yet, treat yourself to a copy for Christmas – ORDER HERE.
Declan O’Rourke Newsletter December 2017
ALBUM OF THE YEAR Nomination, Competition Winners, Festivals, Tours, Reviews, and Podcasts!
Chronicles Of The Great Irish Famine – Irish Tour
The response to the 6 shows we’ve had so far on the tour has been overwhelmingly positive, and we are having a really great time!!
Huge thanks to the good people of Galway, Newry, Westport, Listowel, and Cork for their wonderful support and enthusiasm towards the shows!
Here are some great photos by Loris Frank from our shows at Live At St.Lukes, in Cork, last weekend.
This is where the tour goes over the rest of the month:
December 15th: Dolans, Limerick.
December 20th: The Glassworks, Derry
December 21st: Boyles, Slane (solo – or maybe not!)
December 22nd: The Hawkswell Theatre, Sligo
December 23rd: Theatre Royal, Waterford
Belated Competition Winners!
Well hilariously, despite the wonderful amount of entries to our last competition, I didn’t realise just how tricky the task I had set was, and nobody got the exact names right for the cover of the record!
Dermot Byrne was away on a gig in London that day you see, and Daragh Munnis, one of our videographers filled the role of Manning that day!
Two people – Mr. Roy Chowdhury Soutrik, and Maeve Kelly came close though, and they were close enough with these entries:
Therefore we give them both as the winning entries! Congratulations to you two, and we will be in touch with you in the immediate future to help you claim your prizes!
Nomination for ALBUM OF THE YEAR at fRoots magazine
Check out this review of Chronicles by David McNally in Britain’s famous fRoots magazine this month, in which we’re also told we’ve been nominated for album of the year!
The Record for Christmas
For those of you who haven’t got around to hearing the record yet, treat yourself to a copy for Christmas – Its available HERE! and someone will mail it to you in time for christmas morning 😉
Declan FFF Festival Western Australia
For all you lovely people who recently complained that there was no appearance in Western Australia during my recent tour, here are TWO dates this January to make up for it! And at a great festival too….
You can find details and purchase tickets HERE.
On February 1st, the Chronicles band and I will be appearing at Glasgow’s The Mitchell Theatre for Celtic Connections.
With great delight I hereby announce a tour of the UK, coming up in April of 2018! I will be joined by a good selection of the Chronicles band too ;))
My old friend Ray Heffernan, from IMRO songwriters week days, and other wild adventures, recently started up a fabulous new series of podcasts entitled ‘The Irish Songwriter’.
I (along with lots of songwriters I greatly admire from this island), was delighted to take part in some in extremely enjoyable conversations with him about the artistic process and the like.
HERE is a mini podcast he made, based around my conversations with him.
If you like it, share it, and subscribe so you can hear others like it!
I would wish Ray luck with this new adventure, but it’s so good he will not need it. I’m sure you’ll agree!
The Late Late Show
Declan will be playing the Late Late Show tonight with about half the players on the record, and some other special guests! Do tune in… you can watch it outside of Ireland on the RTE PLAYER HERE! Just click on LIVE and TUNE IN.
Johnny and the Lantern – Exclusive New Video
‘Chronicles of the Great Irish Famine’ Tour, Dec 2017
Declan O’Rourke announces the October release of his new album ‘Chronicles Of The Great Irish Famine’ followed by a full band tour across Ireland in December 2017. Click here to purchase album!
Fifteen years in the making, this epic song cycle combines the best of traditional Irish music and the heart of modern song-writing to present a series of extraordinary true tales from the most dynamic period in Ireland’s history.
A 9-piece band will accompany Declan to tour the new compositions across Ireland, including Mike McGoldrick, Dermot Byrne, Floriane Blancke, Jack Maher, Chris Herzberger, Catriona Frost, Rob Calder and John Sheahan.
Look for a date near you here:
Australian Tour – Sept/October 2017
O’Rourke has announced plans to head down to Australia for a tour this Sept/Oct.
Having already been announced as part of the Dashville Skyline Festival, we have now added dates in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra and Adelaide.
Check out the full list of dates below:
We kindly again ask you all to help you spread the word to friends and family in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Canberra.
New Zealand Tour – October 2017
O’Rourke releases news of his first ever tour of New Zealand for a very special series of concerts and festival appearances:
Please spread the word to your friends and family in NZ that Declan is making his first trip, not to be missed!
USA Tour – November 2017
The Annual migration to the East coast of America is set again and this year Declan will appear as a trio with long time bass playing Buddy Rob Calder, and lip smacking Drum wizard Pete Wilhoit. (He does smack his lips sometimes)
Check out a concert near you:
Note: All shows on the tour will be Declan O’Rourke with a 3-piece band, playing material from across his career to date, with the exception of Thur Nov 2nd, when Declan’s performance in Hamden, CT at Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum will be the only presentation of material from his new record Chronicles of the Great Irish Famine in the US this year.
|Nov 02||SOLD OUT – Hamden, Connecticut||Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum|
|Nov-03||SOLD OUT – New York City, USA||Rockwood|
|Nov 04||New Jersey, USA||House Concert TBC||EMAIL for tickets|
|Nov 05||West Virginia, USA||Cultural Centre Theatre / Mountain Stage|
|Nov-07||Fairfield, Connecticut, USA||Stage One, Fairfield Theatre Company|
|Nov 08||Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA||Tellus 360|
|Nov 10||Baltimore, Maryland, USA||Notredame of Maryland University, 4701 N. Charles Street|
|Nov 11||Winston, Salem, North Carolina, USA||Guvners Ball|
|Nov 12||Nashville, Tennessee, USA||The Basement, 1604 8th Avenue, South Nashville|
Chronicles of the Great Irish Famine for Pre-order
IT’S FINALLY HERE!
We are delighted to announce that pre-sales for Declan’s long awaited ‘Chronicles of the Great Irish Famine’ will open next Monday from 10am GMT, and you can order your copy on CD or VINYL here to get it before anyone else!
Watch for the mail next week with links and details…
Gold Bars Artist Goes Solo!
Last but not least…
Hey, do you all remember the incredible artwork from Gold Bars In The Sun??
Well, its creator, David Rooney has since turned his hand to a long neglected passion for writing songs and finally made his first record last year, Bound Together, which is a great group of songs, the recording of which Declan happened to co-produce.
David’s record can be found on spotify, and iTunes, and all things David Rooney can be found on his Facebook page here but in the meantime here is here is the link to his amazing new video MOONDUST which of course he did the artwork for!
We wish David all the best on his new music adventure!
Return to Oz
Transatlantic Sessions USA
I am so proud to share the news that for the second time, I got the call to be part of the Transatlantic Sessions, a rare honour I believe! Its hitting America for the first time this season next weekend… Look at those names 🙂
I think this poster will be on my wall until the wall falls down…
APR 28+30 – WILKESBORO, NC (MERLEFEST)
MAY 1 – ALEXANADRIA,VA
MAY 2 – GLENDSIDE, PA
MAY 3 – BOSTON, MA
MAY 4 NEW YORK, NY
Chronicles of the Great Irish Famine…
…is the title.
Finally the time has come and I can share with you all that I started work on this record in January of this year with the intention to release it around October this year. Knee deep in the process and very excited right now. Stay tuned for news and tour dates etc…
New UK Agent
Have been really enjoying playing some shows in the UK over the last couple of years, and this was partly due to discovering how cool it is to get the ferry over and drive yourself around at your leisure with as many guitars as you like! No need for all those airport hassles. Freedom!
So I went and found myself a UK agent and intend to do a lot more in the future. For any of you who would like to see me at your favourite venue please get onto the people who run it and tell them we are considering dates for early 2018.
Here’s where they’d get in touch…