Pierce Turner will be offering what he calls a “classy St. Paddy’s Day” at Joe’s Pub in New York by promising to learn a few classy Irish songs. He will join Rob Thomas’s superior musicianship on violin and cello as they rip through the great songs from Percy French, the Clancy Brothers, Sean O Riada and Turlough O’ Carolan! Of course, Turner has his own self-composed hits like “All Messed Up,” “Don’t Want Her to Feel That Way,” “Wicklow Hills,” and “Musha God Help Her.” Meanwhile, Turner’s boyhood pal from Wexford is keeping busy across town. “I’m working on a new book to be called Celtic Crush which will be a history of Celtic Music as I’ve seen through my jaundiced eyes,” reports Black 47 leader Larry Kirwan. “Hey, you musicians out there, better be nice to me. I know where most of the bodies are buried!” I got to catch the band play the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, the house that “The Boss” built. The band was in top form, with the horn section providing a Celtic bridge between the Celtic rockers and Clarence Clemmons from the E. Street band. Speaking of which, Black 47 debuted a classic new song, “Celtic Rocker,” into their set. “She fell hard for a Celtic rocker/turned her whole life upside down/Her parents don’t know what to do with her/out drinkin’ Guinness, buyin’ her own round,” Kirwan sings over a chunky riff dissected with furious, jarring reel. Kirwan says the tune is a tongue in cheek attempt to sum up the whole Celtic rock scene. Recession be damned, this writer’s hand (and liver) will be sore from taking on all the festivities around St. Patrick’s Day! Of course, no Irish week would be complete without Black 47 playing around town, and you can catch them at BB King’s in Times Square that night. A special thanks goes to Brendan Dunphy for his help in compiling this annual list. Here it goes; see you at the finish line! All shows are in Manhattan unless otherwise noted: 3/6-7: Dropkick Murphy’s, Roseland Ballroom. 3/6: The Prodigals, Paddy Reilly’s, Second Avenue. 3/7: Seanchai, Rocky Sullivan’s, Brooklyn. 3/8: The Screaming Orphans, Irish Arts Center 3/12: The Chieftains, Count Basie Theater, Red Bank, New Jersey 3/12-13: The Pogues, Roseland Ballroom. 3/13-14: Celtic Woman, Radio City Music Hall. 3/13-14: The Saw Doctors, Nokia Theater. 3/13: Flogging Molly, House of Blues, Atlantic City, New Jersey. 3/16: Finbar Furey, Joe’s Pub. 3/16: The Chieftains, Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey. 3/17: Black 47, BB King’s. 3/17: Celtic Cross, Blind Pig. 3/20: Biblecode Sundays and Dropkick Murphys, Klub 45 at Connollys. 3/21: The Saw Doctors, Philadelphia. 3/22 rehab in some undisclosed location....
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