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 including a return to Dublin’s Vicar St.
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. Inspired by John O’Connor's book "The Workhouses of Ireland" O'Rourke wrote ‘Poor Boys Shoes’ the ﬁrst song of the collection, and 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 be a witness, to share these stories the best way I knew how, through music.”
Known as 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. �
Nine of the album's musicians will tour the new compositions across Ireland in December, including Mike McGoldrick, Dermot Byrne, Floriane Blancke, Jack Maher, Chris Herzberger, Catriona Frost, Rob Calder and John Sheahan. The winter of 2017/18 will mark the 170th anniversary of the peak of this most signiﬁcant series of events. ‘Chronicles of the Great Irish Famine’ will be released in October 2017.
Tickets priced €35 go on sale Monday 28th August at 9am through www.ticketmaster.ie & usual outlets nationwide.