BLACK 47 St. Patrick's Day Show at Times Square
Type: Music & Concerts
In 1993, Black 47 changed Irish-American music irrevocably when it burst onto MTV with its hit single, "Funky Ceili." Taking its name from the darkest year of the Irish Potato Famine, the band's music, though often based on traditional melodies, is laced with rock, reggae, hip-hop, New Orleans second line, and modern jazz, while songwriter Larry Kirwan uses influences as varied as Yeats, Joyce, and Dylan to fashion his dramatic, cutting-edge lyrics. Long involved in the Irish Civil Rights Movement, Kirwin formed Black 47 in 1989 to give voice to ideas of freedom and cultural renewal.
Black 47 earned its chops playing the pub scene in Manhattan, where its packed performances led to intense media attention. The group was propelled into mainstream consciousness when it recorded Fire of Freedom (1993) and Home of the Brave (1994) for EMI Records. Since then, the group has appeared on virtually every major U.S. TV show, including Leno, Letterman, and O'Brien, and has been profiled by Time, People, Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and USA Today. Kirwan's songs have also been used in political science and history courses in hundreds of colleges and high schools, where Kirwan is often a guest lecturer.