DARREN HOLDEN is one of today’s most talented and popular young performers. Originally from County Kilkenny, Ireland, Darren currently stars as The Piano Man in the U.S. national touring production of the Tony Award®-winning hit Billy Joel/Twyla Tharp Broadway musical "Movin’ Out." His new album, ROADWORKS, contains his own original songs and is the result of two years of writing and recording while touring the U.S. and Canada with "Movin’ Out." Darren is delighted to be collaborating on this album with Tommy Byrnes, Billy Joel’s long-time musical director/guitarist, who has produced three tracks, “Bad Tattoo,” “Something Stronger” and “I Win, I Lose” and composed the latter two. Also included on this album is Darren’s song “Through Hell and High Water,” dedicated to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Darren is not only a prolific songwriter but a master interpreter of lyrics as well. His soaring vocals and heartfelt lyrics combined with his rock and roll versatility continue to captivate audiences around the world. He has just captured the hearts of Japanese audiences while performing "Movin' Out" in Tokyo for six weeks this summer.
At the age of 16, Darren put together his first band, Wanted, which developed an excellent reputation for its country-rock sensibilities, and toured extensively in the UK, Europe, and the US. After Wanted disbanded, Darren concentrated on songwriting, winning several prizes in the “Irish Song for Europe” competitions, as well as composing awards in various competitions in Finland, Sweden, Greece, Los Angeles, Kiev and Kazakhstan. One of his tracks, “After Tonight”, was released domestically and peaked in the top ten of the Irish national charts.
In 1995, Darren was asked to support Boyzone on their first major tour of Ireland and the UK. During this period, Darren worked with producer Ray Hedges (Boyzone, B*Witched), and had top ten hits in Ireland with “After Tonight” and a cover of Leo Sayer’s “More Than I Can Say.” In the summer of 1998, he toured as a guest artist to various festivals with artists such as Paul Young, Peter Andre, and Belinda Carlisle. He collaborated with country artist Rodney Crowell on a track, “Wendy’s World,” as part of the Celtic Harmony Festival. He also collaborated with R’n’B artist Montell Jordan on “It Will Always Be You.”
Darren’s debut solo album, “Suddenly,” was released in Ireland at the end of 1998. The album contained three top 20 hits, and the national Irish music radio station, 2FM, awarded it “Album of the Week” status. A few months later, Darren was cast as a lead singer in "Riverdance," which he performed on Broadway and on tour for more than three years. While in New York, Darren recorded a CD of original traditional/contemporary country songs. The recording sessions took place in New York and Nashville. His album "Live & Learn" was released in 2002 in the US and produced three top 40 airplay hits. Darren was nominated for the 2004 New Music Weekly Award in the category of “Best Country Male Artist.”
Darren appeared in concert at the famed Whisky A Go-Go in Los Angeles, performing his original songs and backed by members of the “Movin’ Out” band. His a cappella renditions of both the US and Canadian national anthems make him a favorite guest of sports teams across North America.
HERE'S WHAT THE CRITICS SAY:
"Darren Holden is remarkable! He plays virtuoso runs and sings with supercharged passion." - San Francisco Chronicle
"An expressive, articulate pop singer!" - Detroit News
"Darren Holden sings and plays with jaw-dropping bravura!"
- Denver Rocky Mountain News
"Holden's vocal abilities are a marvelous blend of Billy Joel and Elton John - not a bad combination!" - KMOX Radio, St. Louis
"Muscular, penetrating and passionate, the songs become superb theatre music here with Darren Holden singing them not merely as Billy Joel's deputy but as a STAR PERFORMANCE BY ITSELF!" - Los Angeles Times
"Darren Holden is a superb stand-in for Billy Joel, ranging from tenderness to gruffness, he sounded more like Joel than Joel." - Boston Globe
"Darren Holden displays effortless purity of sound and freedom through his various vocal timbres." -Appleton Post-Crescent
"Darren Holden rocks the ivories and displays superlative talent. He's clearly destined for bigger fame!"
-Salt Lake City Tribune
"Darren Holden dazzles Toronto audiences with his keyboard and vocal pyrotechnics!" - Toronto Star
"He really rocks!" - CBC Radio
"With his sometimes-raw tenor voice and two-fisted piano style, Holden gives songs such as 'Angry Young Man' and 'Captain Jack' an urgency that even Billy Joel doesn't equal!" - Orange County Register