Jack O’Rourke: Back in Limerick with tales of beautiful misfits, nature and wilderness

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Jack O'Rourke Picture: Miki Barlok

Jack O’Rourke first came to prominence with his ode to misunderstood youth and growing up gay, ‘Silence’, became a torch song for the Irish Marriage Equality Referendum and won the Nashville Songwriting Competition (judges included Tom Waits and Bill Withers).

He has since established himself as one of Ireland’s finest songsmiths and a live favourite and has just been nominated for an RTE Folk Award.
Jack collaborated with electronic artist Kormac on ‘New Day’ and makes regular appearances on Other Voices (most recently with Denise Chaila, Villagers and Loah).
His recent singles ‘Opera on the Top Floor’, ‘Patsy Cline’, and ‘Sea Swimming’ are some of his most emotionally raw songwriting to date. He writes about inspiration, the wildness of love, and healing from grief.

For the recording of Wild Place, Jack and his band based themselves in Triskel Christchurch in Cork and used the wonderful acoustics and Triskel’s grand piano to great effect with contributions from members of Crash Ensemble, Clare Sands and Hugh Dillon.
“Wild Place has songs of love and loss, beautiful misfits, nature and wilderness,” says Jack.
“There’s freedom and rage in there too, alongside questions on race, friendship, a still-Covid world, my dreams and sea swimming. The piano and vocal are centre, but there are elements of folk, roots, blues, Americana and chamber music.” There’s also a song, ‘Strange Bird’ written about the last year and a half – a drone, recording a town during lockdown and all we’ve lost and gained. It’s influenced hugely by John Prine. “When John Prine died during Covid, it was a Bowie or Cohen or Prince moment – I was heartbroken without knowing him personally – his lyrics and his style meant so much, and his songwriting always floored me.”

The new album from Jack O’Rourke called Wild Place is out now. Jack plays Dolans Limerick on Friday November 12.

www.dolans.ie for tickets

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