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Black 47

Legendary NYC Irish band Black 47 celebrates 20 years

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Black 47

Legendary band Black 47’s New York City 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 four Saturdays - November 21 and 28, and December 5 and 12 - they will celebrate their New York City beginnings with 1989 prices of $10 at Connolly’s Klub 45, 121 West 45th Street.  Along with the new material they will highlight songs from all stages of their controversial career.

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 and 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 all major TV 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 12 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" among others. They composed the music for and performed in the ITV film "Victim 0001," a documentary about their friend, Father Mychal Judge

Taking their name from the blackest year of the Irish 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 U.S. 

Black 47 is led by Larry Kirwan (guitar/vocals) who has written 10 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. 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 its 20th anniversary shows, Black 47 plans to take the throng gathered at Connolly’s KLUB 45 ona thrilling journey through history and political struggle that will not only entertain but open up audiences to a new cultural experience.   Doors open at 9 p.m. Band will be onstage at 10:30 p.m. sharp.  Advance tickets can be purchased online at www.black47.com.

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