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Darren Wharton

Fri
18
May

DARE Return To Their All-time Classic Debut June 29

Artist: 
Friday, June 29, 2018
Categories: 
 
Dare – Out Of the Silence II (re-recorded, special edition)
Release date: June 29, 2018
Label: Legend Records; Distributor: ADA/Warner
 
DARE are probably best known for their singer/songwriter Darren Wharton (who first rose to fame in the early eighties playing keyboards with legendary Irish rock band Thin Lizzy). Today DARE are one of the most respected and innovative melodic rock bands on the AOR scene, and have gained cult status among AOR fans throughout Europe, the UK and the world.
 
The band’s debut 1988 A&M album ‘Out Of The Silence’ recorded at Joni Mitchell’s Bel Air Studio in Los Angeles, and produced by Nickelback producer Mike Shipley is still widely regarded today as one of the all time great AOR albums.
 
Darren joined Philip Lynott’s Thin Lizzy at the tender age of eighteen and enjoyed 5 great years with the band touring extensively, alongside renowned guitarist Scott Gorham, drummer Brian Downey, guitarists Snowy White (Pink Floyd), Gary Moore and John Sykes (Whitesnake).
Working closely with Philip Lynott, Darren also recorded classic Thin Lizzy albums, such as ‘Chinatown’, ‘Renegade’, and ‘Thunder and Lightning’ on which Wharton co-wrote 3 songs, including the hit single ‘The Sun Goes Down’. Sadly, the latter was to be Thin Lizzy’s last studio album, and in 1986 Darren Wharton returned to his home town of Manchester where, as an outlet for his creative flare for song writing, working with young Oldham guitarist Vinny Burns, formed his own band, DARE.
 
Following the debut ‘Out Of The Silence’, Dare’s second offering was the explosive ‘Blood From Stone’ produced by Keith Olsen (Whitesnake, Scorpions).Sadly this was the last album recorded for A&M Records after the company was sold to Polygram in 1993. In 1994, Thin Lizzy reformed and Wharton found himself back with his old friends Scott Gorham, Brian Downey, John Sykes and Marco Mendosa, playing to packed out audiences across the world. But in 2000 Wharton decided to leave the Lizzy fold, and turn his focus back to DARE Now living in rugged mountains of North Wales, and working in his own studio, Wharton was soon back writing again. First album off the press was the majestic ‘Calm Before the Storm’.
 
Then followed releases Belief and Beneath The Shining Water, each of which gained BBC2 national radio coverage. Arc Of The Dawn was to follow and featured Dare’s classic cover of Thin Lizzy’s Emerald, and was again playlisted on Planet Rock radio; Each album adding new dimensions to the unique sound that was now synonymous with DARE.
 
By this time, Darren’s long time friend and original DARE guitarist Vinny Burns, was now firmly back in the band; With Kev Whitehead on Drums, Blood from Stone’s Nigel Clutterbuck on bass, and Marc Roberts on live Keys Dare’s lineup had never been stronger; and in 2016 DARE released their highly anticipated 7th studio album Sacred Ground. Sacred Ground delighted Dare fans everywhere, and after receiving spectacular reviews for European and UK press, quickly topped the Amazon Rock Charts in four countries, reaching number #1 in the UK, Germany, Spain and Italy.
 
After national chart success in Sweden, DARE also reached new heights in America, hitting number #12 in the U.S. Amazon Rock charts, and number #2 in the Japanese International Imports charts. Following acclaimed live performances in the UK, Rockingham, London Roundhouse, Germany’s Rock Of Ages, Sweden Rock Festival, Spain, Athens, Norway, the band’s reputation grew from strength to strength, reinstating Dare’s cult status in Europe and the UK and the world. With the first single ‘On My Own’ being playlisted on Planet Rock Radio for over 3 months, the band once more found themselves back on top of the AOR Rock scene.
 
Now 2018 promises to be another great chapter in the book of DARE, as the band celebrate their 30yr Anniversary with a Special Edition re-release of their debut classic album ‘Out Of The Silence’. Out Of The Silence II has been completely re-recorded and in Wharton’s own words “has taken on a new life”. Rockier and harder sounding than and the original version, this fresh new recording will set the stage for the bands European tour starting off at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire on the 18th May. With a brand new studio album set for 2019, it’s clear that DARE are back to stay, and ready to Rock!
 
Track Listing & Track Length (original version length in brackets)
 
01. Abandon  4.50 (4:34)
02. Into The Fire  4.44 (4:51)
03. Nothing Is Stronger Than Love  5.06 (4:43)
04. Runaway  4.39 (4:30)
05. Under The Sun  5.55 (6:10)
06. The Raindance  5.03 (5:20)
07. King Of Spades  6.30 (4:47)
08. Heartbreaker  3.40 (3:38)
09. Return The Heart  4.55 (5:10)
10. Don't Let Go  6.24 (5:53)
 
 
 
Thu
04
Aug

DARE - Sacred Ground (Review)

information persons: 
content: 
94%
Produced By: 
Darren Wharton
Release Date: 
2016
Released: 
Europe
Musical Style: 
AOR
Label: 
Legend Records
Artist: 
Friday, July 15, 2016
Categories: 
 
The Celtic AOR legend that is Dare rides again! Darren Wharton’s majestic band return with studio album number 7, Sacred Ground, their first set of new material in 7 long years.
There’s always a lot riding on a Dare release, as they aren’t the fastest band around when it comes to delivering new albums. And speaking frankly, the two albums preceding this – Arc Of The Dawn and Beneath The Shining Water – while offering a taste of what we all love about this band, still managed to come up a little short when thinking back to the band’s unsurpassable classic debut Out Of The Silence.
That album remains an iconic release and one of the best AOR albums of all time.
 
So what does Dare 2016 mean for fans? Well, the return of the masterful Vinny Burns on guitar is certainly a stroke of brilliance. And he makes his presence immediately known, with Sacred Ground awash with precision soloing and a stronger guitar footprint than the last few albums.
 
While the tempo remains circumspect, Vinny’s guitar takes the songs to the next level, delivering the rock edge that fans have wanted. Yes, tempo is far more ‘up’ than recent work and like past Dare albums, it does take several listens to get to know the tunes. The similar pacing makes it a little harder to separate the songs initially, but as always with Dare, it is all about mood.
And no one does mood better than Darren Wharton and Vinny Burns.
 
And I have to say, I have a huge appreciation for Darren’s vocals. He IS British AOR for me.
In essence, this is a wonderful album that takes a step back from the Celtic influences of recent times and a huge step back towards straight ahead moody AOR, with songs that could quite comfortably fit on Calm Before The Storm and even a few that wouldn’t be out of place on Out Of The Silence.
 
There are no fillers here – 11 great tracks of keyboard and guitar framed music – but there are a few tracks I’d especially like to single out.
The opening number Home is everything I love about Dare. Strength is a nice mid-tempo AOR track with some sublime playing from Vinny Burns and another killer vocal from Darren.
Days Of Summer is the most rocking thing I have heard from Dare since the band returned in 1998.
The almost ‘happy’ On My Own features a good pace and another shining guitar solo.
All Our Brass Was Gold is a really nice mid-tempo ballad with orchestration lurking in the background.
Like The First Time is another schooling on how to do mood and melody together and the closer Along The Heather is classic Celtic Dare, but in a more uptempo wrapper.

What’s not to like? This is a great comeback for the band and a most refreshing welcome home for Vinny Burns, who adds immeasurable class and power to these songs.
And major props to Darren Wharton for the flawless production and crystal clear mix on Sacred Ground. There are many many layers to this album and such a great production is what makes it fun to discover each one.
 
Score: 
94
 
Mon
30
May

DARE Visit 'Sacred Ground' On Brand New Album

Artist: 
Friday, July 15, 2016
Categories: 
 
DARE will release their long awaited new studio album Sacred Ground in Europe on July 15.
 
SACRED GROUND is the bands much awaited 7th studio album; a modern classic, original, yet instantly addictive. It features some of Wharton’s  most mature song writing to date.  Thought provoking and passionate, whilst still retaining a dark rock edge. As the band’s Worldwide fan base eagerly anticipate the new album, Sacred Ground is destined to be another classic album by AOR Rock legends  DARE.
 
Fronted by singer songwriter Darren Wharton (who first rose to fame in the early eighties playing keyboards with legendary Irish rock band Thin Lizzy), DARE are one of the most respected and innovative melodic rock bands working today, gaining cult status among AOR fans throughout Europe, the UK and the world. The band’s debut 1989 album ‘Out Of The Silence’ recorded at Joni Mitchell’s Bel Air Studio Los Angeles, and produced by Nickelback  producer Mike Shipley is still widely regarded today as one of the all time great AOR albums.
 
Darren joined Philip Lynott’s  Thin Lizzy  at the tender age of eighteen and enjoyed 5 great years with the band touring extensively, alongside  renowned guitarist Scott Gorham, drummer Brian Downey, guitarists Snowy White (Pink Floyd),  Gary Moore and John Sykes (Whitesnake).  Working closely with Philip Lynott, Darren also recorded classic Thin Lizzy albums, such as ‘Chinatown’, ‘Renegade’, and ‘Thunder and Lightning’ on which Wharton co-wrote 3 songs, including the hit single ‘The Sun Goes Down’.  Sadly, the latter was to be Thin Lizzy’s last studio album, and in 1986 Darren Wharton returned to his home town of Manchester where, as an outlet for his creative flare for song writing and working with young Oldham guitarist Vinny Burns, he formed his own band, DARE.
 
Darren re-joined Thin Lizzy in 1994 and the band continues to tour extensively around the world to rapturous fans and huge audiences. The band recently completed a big tour of the USA with Judas Priest and recently supported Guns ‘n’ Roses in the UK as well as scores of major festival shows.
 
Wharton’s style of song writing, modern anthemic rock with Celtic overtones, coupled with the bands powerful live performances throughout Europe and the UK ( Sweden Rock,  BYH Festival Germany)  have gained Dare the reputation as a bright force on the British rock scene.
 
 
Line-up:
Darren Wharton - Vocals & Keyboards
Vinny Burns - Guitars
Kevin Whitehead - Drums
Nigel Clutterbuck - Bass
Marc Roberts - Keys (live)r
 
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