Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Legendary Irish group celebrates 20 years on the road

Black 47 brings back 1989 prices for anniversary shows

By John Lee

Black 47’s NYC shows have been described as “a rite of passage for all New Yorkers.” For the last nine months they have been touring the country, along with recording 13 new songs for Bankers and Gangsters, which will be released in February 2010. But for three consecutive nights they will celebrate their New York City beginnings with 1989 prices of just $10. Along with the new material they will highlight songs from all stages of their sometimes controversial career.

“New York was always the center of music for me,” said Kirwan. “New York was Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, The Clancy Brothers, The Velvet Underground, Television, CBGB's, Max's Kansas City. And right from the start with Black 47 we concentrated on creating our own scene. We didn't give a damn about playing anyone else's. Because that's not New York to us.”

Black 47 formed in the Bronx in late 1989 and burst onto the American scene in 1993 with their hit single, Funky Céilí. With a controversial eclectic sound as well as provocative lyrics, Black 47 fuses reggae, rock, traditional Irish, hip-hop, folk, New Orleans & modern jazz into a New York City gumbo. Their lyrics reflect the drama and black humor of a changing world as they see it, from Belfast to Baghdad, The Bronx to Kabul.

They have appeared on a slew of major television shows including The Tonight Show, The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O'Brien and have been profiled by most national magazines and newspapers. They have released twelve CDs including last year’s IRAQ, hailed by Rolling Stone as “an important document, more a prayer than a protest.”

They have appeared in movies such as The Saint of Fort Washington with Matt Dillon and Danny Glover, and their music has been featured in Stephen Rea's The Break, Jim Sheridan's Into the West, and Timothy Dalton's Deterrence amongst others. They composed the music for and performed in the ITV film Victim 0001, a documentary about their friend, Fr. Mychal Judge.

Taking their name from the blackest year of the Irish potato famine, Black 47’s signature eclectic sound, socio-political lyrics and off-the-wall live shows paved the way for other Irish influenced bands such as Flogging Molly and The Dropkick Murphys. Their songs have long been used in political science and history courses in many high schools and colleges throughout the US.

Black 47 is led by Larry Kirwan (guitar/vocals) who has written ten plays published under the title Mad Angels, along with a novel, Liverpool Fantasy, an alternate history of the Beatles, and a memoir Green Suede Shoes. He is host of “Celtic Crush” on SiriusXM Satellite Radio and writes a weekly column for the Irish Echo newspaper. His new novel, Rockin’ The Bronx, will be published in March 2010.

Geoffrey Blythe (saxophones) was a founder member of Dexy’s Midnight Runners. Fred Parcells (trombone) has worked extensively in Latin/Jazz and big bands. Thomas Hamlin (drums) is a veteran of the Max’s/CBGB’s scene. Joseph Mulvanerty is recognized as one of the great innovators of the Irish uilleann pipes bringing a rare jazz and blues flare to this most traditional of instruments. The newest member, Joseph Bearclaw brings a wealth of funk/r&b experience as well as a dynamic stage presence.

For their 20th Anniversary shows, Black 47 plans to take the throng gathered at Connolly’s KLUB 45, 121 W. 45th St. on a thrilling journey through history and political struggle that will not only entertain but open up audiences to a new cultural experience.

“You come to Connolly's, you're in our hands,” said Kirwan. “We're New Yorkers. We're not trying to be anything else. We're in the center of Times Square. They may have changed the lights, the architecture, tourists gawl where pimps once prowled - all gone now but we're still right at the core of the beating heart of EmeraldCity.

"When you enter that door on the third floor of Connolly's and fork over your ten bucks, we'll turn your Saturday night head over heels," he added. "That's what we do. That's why we're Black 47. That's why we've played damned near every Saturday night over the last twenty years moments away from where the ball drops without ever repeating a set."

You can catch the band on Saturday, Nov. 28 and December 5 and 12. Doors open at 9 p.m. for just a $10 admission. The band will be onstage at 10:30 p.m. sharp. Advance tickets can be purchased online at

No comments:


accordion achill activities Affiliate Program Alan Kelly Alan Shatter Alasdair Roberts Alison Krauss All Ireland Fleadh Altan Andy Irvine antrim archive armagh Arthur McBride Arts Arts and Entertainment Arts Council Arty McGlynn Athlone Baltimore band banjo Bantry Barney McKenna Baroque music Bill Whelan Bluegrass music bodhran Bodhrán bouzouki brendan begley Brendan Dolan brian boru Brian Conway Brian Cunningham Brock McGuire Band bunsatty Caoimhin O Raghallaigh Cape Breton Castlebar Cathy Davey Cavan cd ceili Céilí Band Céilidh celtic Celtic music Celtic rock ceol charlie lennon Chicago chieftains christmas Christmas music Christy Moore ciorras clancy Clancy Brothers classes classical music comhaltas Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann Compact Disc Compass Records concert concertina Concerts and Events Connemara Conradh na Gaeilge Cootehill cork Cork County Council Cork University Press Cormac De Barra County Clare County Leitrim Dáithí Sproule Damien Dempsey Dán Dance Dancing at Lughnasa Danny Boy danu Dave Swarbrick De Dannan Declan Sinnott Deezer Derry dervish dkit Dolores Keane Dónal Lunny Donegal Donegal Fiddle Tradition Donnacha Dennehy doolin drisheen Drogheda Drumkeeran drums Drumshanbo dublin Dubliners dun uladh Dundalk early music East Clare Ed Reavy Education Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin Eileen Ivers Eleanor McEvoy Electric Picnic emer mayock ennis European Union Fairytale of New York Feakle feis Feis Ceoil felix dolan festival Festivals fidde fiddle Fiddling Film festival Fleadh Fleadh Cheoil Fleadh Cheoil Competition Céilí Band Jig Comhaltas Fleadh Cheoil fleadh nua flute Folk music Folk music of Ireland folklore france outdoors Francis O'Neill Frank Harte Frankie Gavin frankie kennedy free download Gaeilge gael-linn Gaelic galway Galway Arts Festival galway bay George Bernard Shaw gig glor goodman manuscripts Grammy Award Green Linnet Records group Grouse Lodge Guinness guitar harp hinse history holidays hornpipe Iarla Ó Lionáird iPhone Ireland irish Irish American irish arts centre irish dance irish flute Irish language irish music Irish people Irish Recorded Music Association irish times irish traditional music Irish Traditional Music Archive irish whistle IrishCentral IrishTimes Israel itma Ivan Goff jack coen JAMES JOYCE James Joyce Centre Jig jigs Joanie Madden Joe Derrane John Carty John Doyle John McCusker John McKenna John McSherry john spillane John Wynne Julie Fowlis Junior Crehan Karan Casey Karen Matheson Kathleen MacInnes Kevin Crawford Kilfenora Kilfenora Céilí Band Latin America Le Vent du Nord learn Len Graham Leopold Bloom Lieutenant of Inishmore Literature Liz Carroll London London Irish Centre Lord of the Dance louisburgh lunasa Lúnasa MacTalla Mor Maggie MacInnes Máirtín Ó Direáin mairtin o'connor Máirtín O'Connor Malawi Mandolin Margaret Bennett Martin Carthy martin fay Martin Hayes Martin McDonagh Martin Quinn Mary Bergin Mary Black Maryland Massachusetts Matt Molloy mayo McMahon Merry Sisters of Fate Michael Flatley Michael Rooney Michael Tubridy Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin Micho Russell Mick Moloney mick o'brien milwaukee Monaghan Moya Brennan mp3 Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh music Music festival Music of Ireland Musical composition Natasha McShane Neil Young New York Noel Hill Northern Ireland npu NUIG o'carolan omagh Orkney Paddy Fahey paddy keenan paddy moloney paddy o'brien Padraig Rynne passionfruit theatre Paul Brady penny whistle pennywhistle Peter Horan Philadelphia Philip Duffy piano pipes Planxty podcast Poetry Pogues Quebec radio radisson Raidió Teilifís Éireann recording reel reels riverdance Robert Downey Jr Ronan Browne Ronnie Drew Roscommon rose of tralee rowsome Royal Irish Academy of Music RTÉ Concert Orchestra Ryan Molloy Saint Patrick's Day school scoil acla Scoil Éigse scotland Seachtain na Gaeilge Sean Nós Seán Ó Ríordáin Séan O'Riada séan potts sean tyrell Sean-nós song session Set dancing Shanachie Records shannon shannonside Sharon Shannon shetland show singer Singing Skara Brae Sliabh Luachra sligo solas Sorley MacLean st.patrick stephen ducke Streaming media Stuart MacRae summer school teada teetotallers tg4 the forge theatre Tin whistle Tommy McCarthy Tommy Peoples Tommy Sands Toner Quinn Town Hall Theatre trad trad music traditional Traditional Folk and Celtic Traditional music tradschool trocaire Tulla Tulla Céilí Band tune makers tunepal tutorial tv uilleann pipes Ulysses University of Limerick vallely Van Morrison venue Vermont video Violin W. B. Yeats Waterford westmeath whistle willie Willie Clancy Willie Walsh workshop workshops world fleadh