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Black 47

Black 47 (a name deriving from the year 1847, the blackest year of the Irish potato famine) is a New York-based band made up of Irish expatriates and led by songwriter/playwright Larry Kirwan. In addition to Kirwan (vocals, guitar), the band consists of Chris Byrne (uilleann pipes, tin whistle, vocals), Fred Parcells (trombone, tin whistle, vocals), Jeff Blythe (saxophone), Thomas Hamlin (percussion), and David Conrad (bass). Black 47 plays a mixture of traditional Celtic folk music, rock & roll, rap, and reggae, all topped by the idiosyncratic songwriting and persona of Kirwan. While playing a residency at the Irish pub Paddy Reilly's in Manhattan, the group released its debut album, Black 47, on its own BLK label in 1992, and then was signed to SBK/EMI, which issued a five-song EP, also called Black 47, in November 1992, and a critically acclaimed major-label debut album, Fire of Freedom, in March 1993. Black 47 toured extensively in 1993 and 1994 and released its second album, Home of the Brave, in October 1994. Like Fire of Freedom, Home of the Brave received good reviews but it was ignored in the marketplace. For 1996's Green Suede Shoes, Black 47 moved to Mercury, yet the album made no impact, either critically or commercially. Trouble in the Land followed in early 2000. Byrne left the group after the album's release to concentrate on his work with the Celtic folk group Seanchai. Black 47 continued on without Byrne, releasing a live set, titled On Fire, in 2001 followed by New York Town in 2004. In 2005, the group released Elvis Murphy's Green Suede Shoes a companion piece to bandleader Larry Kirwin's memoir Green Suede Shoes : An Irish-American Odyssey. The politically charged Iraq appeared in 2008, followed by Bankers and Gangsters in early 2010. ~ William Ruhlmann
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Iraq

1. Stars And Stripes

2. Downtown Baghdad Blues

3. Sadr City

4. Sunrise On Brooklyn

5. No Better Friend...

6. Ballad Of Cindy Sheehan

7. The Last One To Die

8. The Fighting 69th (On The Road To The Airport)

9. Battle Of Fallujah

10. Ramadi

11. Southside Chicago Waltz

12. Whatever...

x

Track List: Bittersweet Sixteen

1. Home Of The Brave

2. Funky Ceili

3. For What It's Worth

4. My Love Is In New York

5. Downtown Baghdad Blues

6. Southside Chicago Waltz

7. Big Fellah

8. Bobby Sands Mp

9. Road To Ruin

10. Voodoo City

11. Staten Island Baby

12. Losin' It

13. Danny Boy

14. Patriot Game

15. Forty Deuce

16. Joe Hill's Last Will

x

Track List: Elvis Murphy's Green Suede Shoes

1. Far Side Of The Wall

2. Downtown Baghdad Blues

3. The Bells Of Hell

4. Girl Next Door

5. Elvis Murphy

6. The Day They Set Jim Larkin Free

7. Uncle Jim

8. Into The West

9. Liverpool Fantasy

10. History Of Ireland, Part 1

11. Kilroy Was Here

12. Life's Like That, Isn't It?

x

Track List: New York Town

1. San Paticio Brigade (feat. Eileen Ivers)

2. New York Town (feat. Suzzy Roche)

3. Orphan Of The Storm

4. Fiona's Song (feat. Roseanne Cash & Eileen Ivers)

5. Staten Island Baby (feat. David Johansen)

6. Mychal

7. Livin' In America-11 Year's On (feat. Mary Courtney)

8. Brooklyn, Goodbye (feat. Suzzy Roche)

9. Black Rose (feat. Rozz Moorehead)

10. Blood Wedding (feat. Christine Ohlman)

11. I Won't Take You Home Again, Kathleen

12. Fatima (feat. Ashley Davis)

x

Track List: Trouble In The Land

1. Trouble in the Land

2. Those Saints

3. Delirious

4. Bobby Kennedy

5. Tramps Heartbreak

6. Bodhrans on the Brain

7. I Got Laid on James Joyce's Grave

8. Susan Falls Apart

9. Desperate

10. Fallin' Off the Edge of America

11. Touched by Fire

12. Blood is Thicker than Water

x

Track List: Green Suede Shoes

1. Green Suede Shoes

2. My Love Is In New York

3. Bobby Sands MP

4. Change

5. Czechoslovakia

6. Brooklyn Girls

7. Gerty's Farewell

8. Vinegar Hill

9. Sam Hall

10. Walk All The Days

11. Five Points

12. Rory

13. Forty Deuce

x

Track List: Home Of The Brave

1. The Big Fellah

2. Oh Maureen

3. Losin' It

4. Paul Robeson (Born To Be Free)

5. Road To Ruin

6. Black Rose

7. Blood Wedding

8. Carlita's Revenge

9. Who Killed Bobby Fuller?

10. Different Drummer

11. Danny Boy

12. Voodoo City

13. Time To Go

14. Go Home Paddy

15. Too Late To Turn Back

16. American Wake

x

Track List: Fire Of Freedom

1. Livin' in America (Fordham Road 8:00am)

2. Maria's Wedding

3. Rockin' the Bronx

4. Fanatic Heart

5. Funky Ceili (Bridie's Song)

6. Fire of Freedom

7. James Connolly

8. Livin' in America (Bainbridge Avenue 2:00am)

9. Banks of the Hudson

10. 40 Shades of Blue

11. New York, NY 10009

12. Sleep Tight in New York City

13. Black 47

14. Livin' in America

x

Track List: Black 47

1. Banks Of The Hudson

2. Rockin' The Bronx

3. Desperate

4. Funky Ceili (Bridie's Song)

5. Fanatic Heart

7. 40 Shades Of Blue

8. James Connolly

10. Livin' In America

11. Land Of DeValera

12. Paddy's Got A Brand New Reel

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Black 47 final show 11/15/14 - The Last Jig at BB Kings in NYC. Be there to send the band out on a glorious note. True innovators in the genre. Think that I have heard them play this at almost every show that I have seen in the last 20+ years - an anthem.
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Why is this the only Black 47 song that Pandora plays?
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binghammikay l a
I love this song.
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gotta love st. patty's day cause i listen to my playlist and get drunk till i can't stand with my friends!
Report as inappropriate
mjranger1
I remember being about 12-13, sometime around 1990-1991 visiting NY with my family and walking past a little pub with my mom and B47 was playing. Her being a big irish music buff, she had to stop in and watched the show, met with the band. It was a good memory for me. I remember it being late in the evening and my mom had to jump through a few hoops to get me inside being so young. Good memories
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to capalternate YUP
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capalternate
Am I the only one who finds the vocals slightly annoying?
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unionlawyer
as noted in the bio, byrne left b47 long ago, and was replaced by joe mulvanerty on uilleann pipes, low whistle and bodhran.
Report as inappropriate
pparad
Seen them live many times. I highly recommend the experience.
For albums, give Home of the Brave a spin or ten, then graduate to Iraq. They will not disappoint.
Report as inappropriate
Kirwan is under-rated for his talents. This band's success should've come to fruition long ago.
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I love them!!! I was named after there song- Funky Ceili!
Report as inappropriate
I love em too! Fun stuff.
Report as inappropriate
LOVE THEM!!!!!
Report as inappropriate
Kind of like an Irish version of the Clash. Not bad at all !!!

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