DECLAN O’Rourke returns to Limerick on 15 December with his Chronicles of the Great Irish Famine album tour. The tour will visit Dolans Warehouse, with Declan O’Rourke alongside his nine-piece band.
Chronicles of the Great Irish Famine, released on 27 October, features a series of extraordinary true tales from the most dynamic period of Irish history.
“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,” O’Rourke said.
Chronicles of the Great Irish Famine has been in the works for over fifteen years, perfecting a fine mixture of traditional music and modern songwriting. The album was inspired by John O’Connor’s book, The Workhouses of Ireland, which examines the lives of those in the workhouses through personal experiences.
The album cover features a realistic, photo illustration of Declan O’Rourke and his band in a re-enactment of a historical tale from O’Connor’s book. The scene depicts the ambush and shooting of the landlord, Manning. in Co. Westmeath by a mob of locals in revolt.
“I wanted to be a witness, to share these stories the best way I knew how, through music.” O’Rourke said.
The Chronicles tour began in September and has played in numerous venues across the US, Australia and New Zealand, before finishing in Ireland this December. The winter of 2017/18 will mark the 170th anniversary of the Irish Famine’s most significant events.
Playing alongside Declan O’Rourke both on tour and on the album are nine other traditional musicians, including the Dubliners’ John Sheahan, piper Mike McGoldrick and accordionist Dermot Byrne.
Johnny and the Lantern is the first music video released from the new album and its setting is heavily influenced by the album’s primary, historic themes.
Chronicles’ release comes only a short year after O’Rourke’s previous album, In Full Colour.
In a recent interview with The Irish Times, O’Rourke commented on Chronicles: “I think you have to be gripped by a story in order to be able to write about it yourself. You write about what moves you.”