Declan's interest in music had been evident from an early age. Family singsongs were a regular occurrence and through these frequent gatherings he began to immerse himself in the rich culture of traditional Irish music and the classics of Motown. At the age of 10, Declan's family emigrated to Australia where they spent four years and it was here that he was given his first guitar and shown his first chords by a priest who recognised his love for music.
On his return to Ireland at the age of 14, Declan began to meet likeminded individuals in his area and soon after was playing in and forming local bands. It was during this time that Declan was introduced to the art of songwriting. "I was pretty crap at first", admits Declan, "but when you enjoy something so much, over time it's easier to get your head around and perhaps it comes a little more naturally."
"He is that rare thing, a singer-songwriter who can actually play the guitar. And play it well. He stands out even further from the 'one man and his guitar brigade' thanks to the nature of his songs ... optimistic, even buoyant." CLUAS.com
His songwriting is of the finest standard. He crafts songs with fine melodies and strong choruses that are structured around engaging tales of romance and adventure. His voice has been described as rich and resonant and his intricate guitar style puts him among the finest players in the country. Such is the level of Declan's guitar playing that over the past 2 years he worked with Paddy Casey and featured on almost all of the tracks on his multi-platinum selling album "Living".
The Oxegen Festival was the last show Declan played with Paddy before departing to concentrate on recording and producing his own debut album at Sharon Shannon's home in Galway. 2004 has already been an amazing year for Declan. He has the distinction of being among the few solo performers selected to appear on the second series of Other Voices and on the accompanying album. He also has a track, "One-Way Minds", on the "Diamond Mountain Sessions Presents... " compilation album which includes Sinead O' Connor, Steve Earle and Natalie Merchant among others. In addition to a track on the compilation, Declan was one of the artists on the bill of the "Diamond Mountain Sessions Live" gig which took place in the Roisin Dubh, Galway at the end of July.
Other highlights include a slot on the first Irish Woodstock in Inistioge, Kilkenny in early August, playing guitar with Bic Runga on her mini European tour earlier this year, opening multiple shows for Planxty during their amazing run at Vicar St and being on the same bill as the great man Bob Dylan for three consecutive shows with Paddy Casey.
- Declan performs as part of the second series of Other Voices, Songs From A Room which was recorded in St. James Church in Dingle. The series is broadcast on RTE Television in the Spring of 2004.
- Release of his debut album 'Since Kyabram'
- Release of 'Galileo' single [February]
- Declan signs a worldwide deal with V2 Records [September]
- Re-release of 'Since Kyabram' including live DVD [29 May]
- Release of 'Sarah' single [19 June]
- Release of 'Christmas Wine' single [November]
- Release of 'Big Bad Beautiful World' single as a digital download [03 August]
- Release of 'Big Bad Beautiful World' album [14 September]
- Declan O'Rourke is nominated in the Best Irish Male category in the Meteor Ireland Music Awards
- Release of 'Whatever Else Happens' single [15 February]
- Release of 'A Little Something' single
- Release of 'Time Machine' single
- Release of 'Mag Pai Zai' album [08 April]
- Release of 'Lightning Bird Wind River Man' single [04 November]
- Release of 'Be Brave And Believe' single [10 February]