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Declan O'Rourke

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Declan O'Rourke
Acclaimed singer/songwriter; released his debut album 'Since Kyabram' in 2004

About Declan O'Rourke

Declan O'Rourke is a singer/songwriter from Dublin, Ireland. His first album is entitled Since Kyabram. His best-known song is probably "Galileo".

At the age of 13, while living in Australia for a period with his family, O'Rourke was given his first guitar by a priest in Kyabram who recognised his potential and love for music; Hence the title of his debut album "Since Kyabram", which was released to critical acclaim in October 2004.

The album was so eagerly-anticipated that the launch took place over three sold-out nights in WhelanĂs of Wexford St, Dublin and was broadcast live on national radio. It entered the official Irish album charts at Number 5 and was the only new Irish entry in the Top 75 album chart that week. "Since Kyabram" quickly went gold, then achieved platinum status and is still in the Irish charts. Since the release of the album, O'Rourke has completed two sell-out nationwide Irish tours, with the second one culminating in a much-lauded, full capacity show in Dublin's Olympia Theatre in March 2005.

Described by Eddi Reader as ˘one of the finest songwriters on the planetÓ his songs have filled my heart and home÷. His song-writing is rich with a level of intimacy and vulnerability that gives expression to the unspoken language of the heart. Cinematic in detail, his album is like a series of short films, which takes the listener on a visual journey. Lyrically, he is a poet, using poignant imagery and strong storylines. His lyrics are mature, fresh and unique. DeclanĂs melodies - tender and charming - are the perfect vehicle for his lyrics. " Of course, this review was obviously biased.

His songwriting explores many diverse subjects. Along with unconventional love songs like Everything Is Different and Sarah, DeclanĂs songs and lyrics cover both generic themes such as the sea and more direct matters such as arranged marriages, for example. But the connecting thread present throughout the album is the flowing and dreamy vocal style, from the softer tracks like No Place to Hide and Galileo to the more up-tempo full-band songs like No Brakes and One-Way Minds. The album's final track, Marrying the Sea, is an original traditional-styled creation, performed acapella, highlighting O'Rourke's distinctive and powerful voice. This track ends with an instrumental piece entitled Til Death Do Us Part which further demonstrates DeclanĂs talent for composing and arranging music. All eleven tracks on Since Kyabram were written and produced by Declan. Strings on the album were arranged by Declan and Steve Wickham of The Waterboys. Steve also played on the album.

Galileo, the first single from Since Kyabram received and continues to receive extensive airplay. It was voted Single of the Fortnight and hailed by John Walshe from Hot Press as ˘a deliciously old world balladÓ complete with strings that sweep you off your feet, gently strummed guitars and OĂRourkeĂs ability to switch from booming baritone to soaring soprano mid-note. I defy anyone to listen to this without their heart defrosting÷.

O'Rourke has the distinction of being among the few solo performers selected to appear on both the second and third TV series of Other Voices. O'Rourke also performed on the #1 selling compilations Even Better Than The Real Thing Vol. 2 and Even Better Than The Real Thing Vol. 3, proceeds of which went to The National ChildrenĂs Hospital and Tsunami Relief respectively.

Other career highlights include performing at the first Irish Woodstock in Inistioge, Kilkenny, playing guitar with Bic Runga on her European tour, opening multiple shows for Planxty during their amazing run at Vicar St and being on the same bill as Bob Dylan for three consecutive shows.

O'RourkeĂs performances have attracted much praise from musical legends like Rolling Stones guitarist, Ronnie Wood, and one of Ireland's most highly-regarded and successful artists, Paul Brady who says I think Declan O'Rourke is the most talented singer-songwriter to have emerged anywhere in many years. A rich, soulful, musical voice and a brilliant instrumental ability are just the start of it. As a songwriter he has already shown he can mix it with the best. This first album is a terrific introduction to a new and fresh musical world that I, for one, am delighted to visit again and again.

O'Rourke's album has been offered a place in Australia through Sony and is due for release there in late '06.

[source: Wikipedia.org]

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