Born in County Kilkenny, Ireland, Darren Holden is a very versatile and talented performer. As well as being an accomplished musician, with an exceptional vocal range, he is also a prolific songwriter. His wonderful interpretation of lyrics, together with an ability to perform in so many genres of music, continues to win him praise from audiences wherever he performs around the world. Having put together his first band Wanted at the age of 16, they extensively toured the UK, Europe, and the US, developing an excellent reputation for their country-rock style. When they disbanded, Darren turned his concentration to his songwriting, twice competing in Irish Song For Europe. In coming a close second on both occasions, he was invited to perform in Finland, Sweden, Greece, Los Angeles, Kiev, Kazakhstan and Cairo, winning several prizes and composing awards in various competitions.
Darrens early career saw him in much demand supporting many artists such as Boyzone, The Backstreet Boys, East 17, Paul Young, Bonnie Tyler, Peter Andre, and Belinda Carlisle, on major tours. He also had top 20 hits in Ireland with cover versions of More Than I Can Say and Dont Give Up On Us, with his own composition, After Tonight, reaching the top 10. During this time, he worked with producer Ray Hedges (Take That, Boyzone, B*Witched,Towers Of London). As his passion for songwriting continued, he also got the opportunity to work with country music legend Rodney Crowell on a song for the Celtic Harmony Festival, as well as collaborating with RnB artist Montell Jordan and Lindy Robbins.
Darrenâs next career break took him to America where he was cast as the lead vocalist in Riverdance, performing initially on Broadway before taking the show on a 3 year tour of the US and in to Europe. As his contract with Riverdance came to an end, with hardly time to draw breath, he successfully auditioned as the lead vocalist/pianist in the Tony Award-winning hit Billy Joel/Twyla Tharp musical Movinâ Out. This saw him once again performing on Broadway, before embarking on another extensive 3 year tour of the US, Canada and Tokyo. The tour was a major success, breaking all previous box office records in many cities in the first year. Darren was ever present as lead Pianoman on the original US tour, from Jan 2004, until the production closed in Birmingham Alabama in Jan 2007. This gained him a huge fan base for both his interpretation of the Billy Joel back catalogue, and his own music. He also became a regular face on American Prime Time TV, clocking up more than 500 appearances on CBS, FOX, NBC and ABC. His natural ability in front of the camera charmed both presenters and the millions of viewers, as he shared his amusing experiences and treated them to his amazing renditions of the Billy Joel classics.
Darren has released 3 solo albums, each in a different genre of music. His debut solo album, Suddenly, a pop album of original and cover songs, was released in Ireland at the end of 1998. The album includes his 2 top 20 hits and the top 10 After Tonight, and gained him Album of the Week status on the national Irish music radio station 2FM. While in New York with Riverdance, Darren recorded his second album Live and Learn. This by contrast is a collection of original traditional/contemporary country songs from recording sessions in both New York and Nashville. Released in the US in 2002, the album produced three top 30 airplay hits, with Wherever You Are, hitting the Top 20. This success gained Darren much deserved industry recognition and he was subsequently nominated in the Best Country Male Artist category for the 2004 New Music Weekly Awards in Los Angeles. In November 2005 Darren released Through Hell and High Water, dedicated to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. It became one of the most downloaded songs of the year in the US, gaining him much praise for the touching lyrics, and heartfelt message, from fans of all ages and backgrounds. The song is included on Darrens latest album, Roadworks, released in August 2006. This album has a fine blend of beautiful ballads and rock songs and is the result of two years of writing and recording while on the road touring with Movin Out. It features all original material co-written by Darren with other Movin Out band members and Billy Joels guitarist Tommy Byrnes.
Despite a heavy touring schedule, Darren still had the opportunity to progress other avenues of his career, appearing in concert at both The Cutting Room in New York City and the famed Whisky A Go-Go in Los Angeles. This gave him the chance to showcase some of his original songs backed by members of the Movin Out band. He has also regularly performed with the New York State of Mind band which features the Billy Joel band, with Darren taking the place of the main man on piano and lead vocals. The group perform at major corporate events in the US and often feature guest appearances from world renowned musicians.
Darren has become a favorite at sporting events for his phenomenal rendition of the US National Anthem. He has performed the Anthem for an estimated 1.5 million people, the largest audience being 90,000 at the San Diego Charger's V Pittsburgh Steelers NFL game in October 2006. His performance of both the US and Canadian Anthems before the Maple Leafs took on Sacramento in Toronto, was broadcast to a TV audience of over of 12 million viewers. Darren has also performed for President and Mrs. Bush and other dignitaries at the Annual White House Christmas Pageant of Peace and Tree Lighting Ceremony in Washington, DC.
Darren is currently a member of Irelands top folk group The High Kings, with two platinum albums under his belt in Ireland. But although that keeps him busy, whenever he gets the chance, he continues with his song writing, collaborating with a number of songwriters keen to work with him. He is also constantly looking for opportunities to develop his solo career, and perform his own music, both in Ireland and overseas in Europe and America.Wow, Bad Tattoo by Darren Holden, is so much better that Tattoo by Van Halen.
January 2012 London.
One of the finest Rock Voices I have heard in many years
Tempe Arizona 2007
Darren has the whole package and then some.