Off The Recordby Mike Farragher
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Public television usually gets green during the month of March, in more ways than one.
It is the month that they raise cash during their telethons and to do that, they appeal to the sizable Irish and Irish American audience with programming from the Emerald Isle. In years past, this exposure has launched such successful shows as Celtic Woman and Celtic Thunder.
The first thing you notice when you look at the CD cover of the new Celtic Thunder CD, That’s Entertainment, is Damian McGinty, the apple-cheeked teen who stole our hearts with a jolly good read of Donny Osmond’s “Puppy Love.”
The lad is growing up before our eyes! He now has the black tuxedo jacket slung over his shoulder as the dark tie hangs precariously on his chest.
“I always resisted being pigeonholed and limited to this genre. But what the hell, it just won’t go away and I suppose we have a lot to be responsible for in popularizing it. Like every other original idea it inevitably becomes a victim of its own clichés. This is what it looks like from the stage with a couple of shots aboard; now let’s take it to the cleaners.”
Larry Kirwan might be talking about the origins of “Celtic Rocker,” one of the many instant classics on Black 47’s new Bankers and Gangsters album, but it is typical of him to give that nonchalant, self-deprecating wink to his long legacy and cultural impact on Irish Americana.