Gadfly Records is proud to announce the release of New York Town, from seminal Irish rockers Black 47 -- the group's first studio album in five years. New York Town is steeped in the same social and political fervor that established Black 47 as a musical force fourteen years ago.
Known as the "House Band of New York City," it is fitting that the latest release from Black 47 should be dedicated to their hometown. As founder Larry Kirwan explains, "this is an album of photos, some now sepia-toned, others glaringly digital. It’s a love letter to the city that took me in (in more ways than one), and gave birth to Black 47." New York Town contains guest vocal and instrumental appearances from Rosanne Cash, David Johansen, Suzzy Roche and Eileen Ivers, among others. "I wanted to write about the city, both pre and post 9/11, and show what it’s like, from the inside, by featuring the voices and skills of some real New Yorkers."
New York Town is a musical melting pot of rock, folk, hip-hop, reggae, Celtic, country, swing and jazz influences. Still passionate, fiery and uncompromising in an age of polls and opinion groups, Kirwan’s lyrics ooze a palpable love for the city, and place people from all five boroughs in situations both autobiographical and fictional. On the title track, the band tackles the social and political questions of 9/11 head on; "Ain’t no smoke without a fire, people want answers not patronizing." While Mychal - in cool, unemotional terms - tells the story of Black 47 fan, the late Father Mychal Judge, chaplain of the NYFD.
The ballad Fiona’s Song features Rosanne Cash acting out the tale of a young Irish woman who finds solace, if not happiness, on Queens Boulevard. In Staten Island Baby, David Johansen characteristically rips it up, explaining to a NYC police officer "in his pajamas pointin’ his piece at me," why he’s kept his daughter out until 5 a.m. And in Livin’ in America – 11 Years On, Kirwan and Mary Courtney update the bittersweet relationship of a couple who first met in a bar on Fordham Road in the early 90’s.
Taking their name from the blackest year of the Irish Potato Famine, Black 47 burst out of the Irish pub scene on the success of 1992’s Fire of Freedom (EMI). With their signature eclectic sound, socio-political lyrics and off-the-wall live shows, they paved the way for other Irish influenced bands such as The Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly. Black 47’s songs articulated the hopes and fears of working people, and they became the musical voice for young, politically aware, Irish Americans. Their cutting-edge lyrics are now used in political science/history courses in hundreds of high schools and colleges.
The band is led by Larry Kirwan (guitar/vocals). His plays have been performed both in the US and Europe, while his first novel Liverpool Fantasy, an alternate history of the Beatles, was published in 2003. Other members include ex-Dexy’s Midnight Runners founder Geoffrey Blythe (saxophone), Joseph Mulvanerty (uilleann pipes), Fred Parcells (trombone), Thomas Hamlin (drums), and Andrew Goodsight (bass). Black 47 annually performs 150 dates in North and South America and Europe. Their Winter Saturday night NYC shows have been described by the New York Daily News as "a rite of passage for all New Yorkers." Black 47 live shows are incendiary and legendary - they once closed down the town of Hoboken – where celebrities can be seen rubbing shoulders with cops, writers, hard hats and students
Black 47 will embark on a U.S. tour following the release of New York Town, with a confirmed two-show performance at B.B. King’s in NYC on St. Patrick’s Day. Visit http://www.black47.com for tour updates. For more information on Black 47, to request a copy of the CD or interview, please contact Think Press:Monica D’Ascanio / (323) 661-7802 / firstname.lastname@example.org www.thinkpress.net
Also available from Gadfly Records:
Black 47, "Black 47" (the indie CD), Gadfly 272
Black 47, "Live in New York City," Gadfly 248
Black 47, "On Fire," Gadfly 280
Larry Kirwan, "Kilroy Was Here" Gadfly 273
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