Elaine O'Rourke

Elaine O'Rourke


Compelling and hypnotic, dark and haunting, Ms. O'Rourke goes beyond conventional folk music. With such a diverse ability she easily moves from celtic sounds to folk rock, ballads, jazz and is a tantalizing performer.


Compelling and hypnotic, dark and haunting -- these are words repeatedly used to describe Elaine O'Rourke's debut CD, "No Beginning, No End."

Resonating with the spirit of her native Ireland, O’Rourke’s deceptively sweet and seductive voice and entrancing acoustic guitar style lure the listener to a mystical, ancient place. A tempting risk-taker, O’Rourke is an explorer who beckons you to wander, curious, beyond the expected, beyond the comfortable conventions of modern folk music.

Ms. O'Rourke had been battling severe Crohn's Disease during the 2 year recording process which involved numerous surgeries. It is a total credit that she has accomplished so much under these circumstances. In June 2006 she had her final surgery and is thankfully fully recovered with a new lease of life! By living through this experience, it has created a new depth in her songs and sound. She reaches places that were previously unknown to her.

No Beginning, No End marks O’Rourke’s recording debut, and it’s a strong one. Known to audiences in her adopted hometown of Gloucester, MA for her expressive live peformances, O’Rourke assembled an impressive list of talent to get her unique musical vision down on tape. Co-produced by “Super Genius” singer/songwriter Michael Barry, No Beginning, No End features legendary English drummer (and Marblehead resident) David Mattacks on drums and keyboards. Mattacks, who has played with Richard Thompson, Rosanne Cash, and Mary Chapin Carpenter, says, “Mike, with whom I play in “Super Genius”, played some tracks for me, and I thought they were great. Elaine's music has a rare honesty – an authenticity. I very much enjoyed doing the record."

Joining Barry and Mattacks are Jim Lounsbury, Elaine’s frequent on-stage accompanist, who contributes standout violin passages, as well as piano, “Four Piece Suit” instrumentalists Dave Sholl and Milt Reder, playing Irish whistle and electric guitar, respectively, and “Whalebone Farmhouse” acoustic guitarist Rocky Kramm, who lends a nice touch to the CD’s closer, “Nighttime Shadows”. The record was mixed by Huck Bennert, who has mixed records for Lori McKenna, Carrie Rodriguez, Catie Curtis, and Dar Williams.

What makes her standout in her live performances is her unique ability to switch styles from a somber ballad to a raunchy tune where she flaunts her feather boa! Her theatrical background and comfortable stage completely engages the audience.

“Ms. O’Rourke’s lovely and strategically deployed contralto is an integral addition to this versatile, largely folk-oriented collection of melodic ballads…There is a wistful, almost sentimental, quality to her voice which lends to even her most subtle tunes a timeless appeal…In a folk music marketplace glutted with sound-alikes and wannabes, this hauntingly original and remarkably assured debut CD is a keeper”. -- Francis DiMenno, The Noise, Feb 2007

"She has a beautiful voice. The songs have wonderful lyrics and her voice is clear and resonant…the mood was very haunting and moody…I love that. She slipped easily from the Celtic folk sound to a more jazzy piece called 'Fly Baby Fly', to rock. The first time we played her CD in the store, two customers wanted to know who was singing.” -- Susan Emerson of Gloucester Music.

"She's just a fantastic spirit. Her vibe is going to sell her records. She's got a very unique style." -- Fly Amero of the band "Orleans".


10 song CD "No Beginning, No End"

Set List

Originals, Irish Ballads and Cabaret
Usually 3 45 minute sets.

Original songs:
Sepia Tones
Why do I
Sentiments and Circumstances
Fly Baby Fly
Free Me
You Can't Avoid Me
We will be again
Stir Crazy
No Failing Now
Johnny and Me
Feather Boa
Silent Melody
My love oh my lover
You love you loose
Get out of my way
In the Mood

Black is the color
Water is wide
Red is the rose
Blue Moon
Can't help lovin that man
Moon River
Autumn Leaves
I'll never be Free
I don't care if the sun don't shine
All of Me
My Funny Valentine
Dream a little dream
Troubled Fields
Tennessee Waltz
Ain't misbehavin
My Romance
Moon Dance