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Black 47 New York Town

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Continuing to meld punk, traditional Irish, reggae, funk, big-band and whatever other sound feels right, Black 47 is back with their first studio CD in 4 years and Larry Kirwin has written the best Black 47 CD to date.

Almost a concept album, Kirwin has tried to capture a “pictures” of life in New York City, particularly in the post 9/11 world. Songs like the title track, “Livin’ In America – 11 Years on” and particluarly “Mychal,” Kirwin’s tribute to Fr. Mychal Judge, write his “love letter to the city that took him in and gave birth to Black 47.”

The expected strong playing of a band that cut its teeth in the pubs and bars of NYC is enhanced by guest appearances that read like a who’s-who list of Celtic and/or New York music. Eileen Ivers returns (she’s played on several of Black 47’s previous releases) to add her top-notch fiddling as well as guest vocalists Rozz Moorhead, Mary Courtney, Christine Ohlman, Suzzy Roche, Ashley Davis and David Johansen (biographies of all the guest musicians appear here). The highlight of the guest appearances is Rosanne Cash’s hauntingly sweet vocal on “Fiona’s Song.”

Whether it is a new introduction to Black 47 or you are a returning long-time fan, New York Town is sure to spend quite a bit of time in your CD player. This is the first truly “must-have” CD of the new year.

Don’t forget to check the band’s website, Black47.com for updates, merchandise, etc.

Black 47 has already headed out on tour to support the new release. Here’s the current Schedule:

February 5 Ram’s Head Taven Annapolis, MD
February 7 Connolly’s New York, NY
February 12 Fairfield University Fairfield, CT
February 13 Briget’s Public House Staten Island, NY
February 14 Connolly’s New York, NY
February 21 The Stone Pony Asbury Park, NJ
February 27 John Boyle O’Reilly Club Springfield, MA
March 4 Ned Devine’s Boston, MA
March 5 The Call Providence, RI

March 6 Toad’s Place New Haven, CT
March 11 Four Green Fields Tampa, FL
March 12 Palm Beach Irish Festival West Palm Beach, FL
March 13 House of Blues Chicago, IL
March 16 Westbury Music Fair Westbury, LI
March 17 BB King Blues Club & Grill New York, NY
March 20 Guinness Presents the Holyoke Fleadh Holyoke, MA
March 21 The State Theatre Falls Church, VA
April 16 Beachcomber Quincy. MA
May 8 Celebration of Celts Chatham, NY
May 28 Blackthorn Resort East Durham, NY
May 29 Irish Festival East Durham, NY
May 29 Blackthorn Resort East Durham, NY
May 30 Chicago Irish Festival Oak Forest, IL
May 31 Chicago Irish Festival Oak Forest, IL

I’m looking forward to seeing the new songs in Providence.

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About Jim Schwab

  • Eric Olsen

    Thanks Jim, sounds great, haven’t heard them in a while.

  • Real Irish rock and rap coming to a “fleadh”

    I’m listening right now to full songs online by Celtic folk-rock-rap-reggae band Black 47, thanks to an email telling me about the First Annual Providence Fleadh on Aug. 14 where Black 47 will be playing along with Seanchai & the Unity Squad.

    (Yup, “Fleadh.” I had to look it up. It means music festival in Irish, and is pronounced “flaa.”)

    On Black 47’s site you can hear tunes such as I Got Laid On James Joyce’s Grave, Downtown Baghdad Blues, I Ain’t Marching Anymore and a most unusual version of Danny Boy.

    Black 47 is a more than interesting band. A nice history in the New York Daily News begins,

    One was Chris Byrne, a tough Irish cop from Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, pounding a beat up on New York’s “Forty Deuce”; the other was Larry Kirwan, a cheeky import from County Wexford, who had just given up on standard rock ‘n’ roll and was looking to raise some hell with a new Irish sound the two of them had been working on. Byrne could play the Bodhran drum and the Uilleann pipes and all those ancient Irish instruments, and Kirwan played electric guitar. They called themselves Black 47, after the famine.
    and ends,

    Chris Byrne would later go off on his own and become the first Irish cop in New York with his own Irish rap group, Seanchai and the Unity Squad.

    And they’re both playing the Fleadh.

    And it’s all happening in the street outside Patrick’s Pub, 381 Smith St, not far from the State House, on Sunday, Aug. 14 from 2 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, $23 at the last minute. More info: 401-751-1553.

    Patrick’s Pub is an unusual spot. It’s your basic dark old bar with tables, but manages to host some of the quirkiest events, such as the grass-roots Dylan Night each year around Bob’s birthday. It’s an Irish stronghold, with a link to the Irish Independent and other Irish links on its site.