Declan O’Rourke / Robert Steven Williams
November 8, 2012
An Irish folk singer drawing on the Neil Young songwriting tradition. Declan is a product of the folk-rock busking tradition which produced Damien Dempsey, Mundy, and Paddy Casey, under whom O'Rourke served his musical apprenticeship, his audience-friendly brand of acoustic pop has brought him multi-platinum success in Ireland.
His rough vocal style contrasts neatly with his intelligent string- and piano-laden arrangements, at once differentiating him from his contemporaries and highlighting the debt he owes to the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Paul Brady, and Burt Bacharach.
This year Declan’s been busy writing and performing - most recently with Bono, Damien Rice, Bob Geldolf and others at the Electric Burma concert honoring Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyin in Dublin.
Declan recorded a duet with Kate Rusby, England’s top contemporary folk singer. ‘Bring me a boat’ will appear on her upcoming album in October. They’ll also be performing together at London’s Royal Festival Hall in London.
Paul Weller of the Jam said this about Delcan’ in April’s Mojo: “He writes the sort of classic songs that people don’t write anymore, songs that sound like they’ve been around forever . . . Listen to Galileo, which is possibly the greatest song written in the last thirty years.”
Robert Steven Williams released the critically acclaimed CD “I Am Not My Job,” featuring Rachel Z (Peter Gabriel, Wayne Shorter) and Sloan Wainwright in 2006. He’s studied songwriting with Rosanne Cash, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and several top country writers.
His novel My Year as a Clown, will be released on the indie imprint Against the Grain Press in January 2013—one of his songs will be included in the digital version of the book. A finalist in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest, his short fiction has appeared in Carve Magazine, The Orange Coast Review, and the anthology Tall Tales and Short Stories Volume II.
He was also the executive producer of the critically acclaimed BOOM! Studios CBGB Comic series in 2010. He wrote story seven in Book 3. The series was nominated for a Harvey Award for Best Anthology.