Spotlight Artist: Black 47

Our next Spotlight Artists: Black 47.
They have been called “The house band for New York City”, and have played countless gigs in countless venues across the five boroughs and beyond, appearing on MTV, Letterman and Late Night with Conan O’Brien. When they are not touring, Black 47 sets up their home base at The Klub 45 Room at Connolly’s on W. 45th St. in Times Square.

They will be performing this Saturday, August 28 at their annual Pirate Cruise, as part of the Rocks Off Concert Cruise series.

Saturday, August 28, 2010
Rocks Off Concert Cruise:
Black 47 Pirate Cruise
Tickets: Advance: $25 / Day of Show: $30
Boards: 6:30pm / Departs: 7:00pm
Aboard The Half Moon
Skyport Marina
E. 23rd St. & FDR Dr.
on the East River
New York, NY

Black 47:

Photo by Mark Blandori

The band’s co-founder and front man Larry Kirwan has been a reader and supporter of for many years, and was kind enough to answer our questions for this feature.

Band Lineup:
Larry Kirwan (guitar/vocals)
Geoffrey Blythe (saxes)
Joseph (Bearclaw) Burcaw (bass/vocals)
Thomas Hamlin (drums)
Joseph Mulvanerty (uilleann pipes/flutes/vocals)
Fred Parcells (trombone/whistles/vocals)

How long have you been performing in NYC?
20 years.

Past lives (i.e., previous bands, your early years, etc.):
Between these six guys, do you have time to read a book? Everyone from Dexy’s Midnight Runners to Cyndi Lauper to the Johnny Reck Showband.

What’s your favorite venues to play?
Any place with a crowd.

Upcoming Tour Dates:
Aug 28 Rocks Off Pirate Cruise, NYC
Sept 3 Blackthorn Resort, E. Durham, NY
Sept 4 Bennington Irish Festival, VT
Sept 5 Blackthorn Resort, E. Durham, NY
Sept 11 South Buffalo Irish Fest, NY
Sept 17 Ocean Mist E. Matunuck, RI
Sept 18 Blue Ocean Music Club, Salisbury, MA
Sept 19 Echo Lake, Leverett, MA (Larry Kirwan solo)
Sept 25 Jersey City Irish Festival, Exchange Pl, NJ
Oct 2 Long Beach Irish Day, NY
Oct 8 Brownie’s 23 East, Ardmore, PA

Musical influences:
Legion… from Sean O’Riada to Jeezy with stops in between for Miles Davis, Eddie Cochran, Astor Piazzolla and The Clash.

Blatant self-promotion: What would you like to plug?
Our sheer honesty and stunning good looks. And I suppose the latest B47 CD, Bankers and Gangsters.

Band Website:
Facebook: Black47
Youtube: Black47NYC
Myspace: Black47Band
Reverb Nation:
Sonic bids (electronic press kit): Black 47
Wikipedia: Black_47

Where can we buy your music?
Most record stores – or the ones that are still standing. Most major online site, or you can visit:, CDbaby, or TheConnextion

Tell us a story about performing live in NYC.
Played to a huge crowd in Central Park one July 4th with the temperature over 100 degrees. Tubes in both my Fender amps died from the heat – was reduced to playing through a $40 practice amp. The series was canceled after that year because the authorities said “Black 47 was too rowdy – and too LOUD!” Go figure.

Any advice to someone just starting out?
Yeah, get a real job! And if you’re still crazy enough to get into this world then make sure you have skin like steel and that you learn a practical skill first that will net you $200 a day. Otherwise, save yourself the inevitable heartbreaks, alcoholism and other hassles.

Don’t take anyone’s advice (including mine) – you’ll have to learn how to make instant decisions that will affect a lot of people, so you MUST learn to hone and trust your own instincts.

Learn every aspect of the business – no one will do it as well as yourself. Can you imagine a hotel manager who hasn’t had experience of washing dishes or mopping the floors of the lobby? And remember – this rock life is a 24 hour job. Of course, there’s a slim chance you may end up in champagne and limos but even then it’s better to drink beer and walk.

Can you recommend any other acts we should feature on MurphGuide?
Seanchai & The Unity Squad, Celtic Cross, Shilelagh Law, The Ruffians, Screaming Orphans, The Gobshites, Lily Sparks, The Canny Brothers

Here is a video from their early days: “40 Shades of Blue”. (Notice the original Paddy Reilly’s location).

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