In September, 2013 the seminal and beloved Irish rock band, Black 47, announced that they are calling it quits after 25 years of recording and performing.
In a statement about the band's breakup, lead singer Larry Kirwan wrote, "We just have a simple wish to finish up at the top our game after 25 years of relentless touring and, as always, on our own terms... Our goal now is to play another full year plus and dedicate all of those gigs to you who've supported us through thick and thin... We would like to say goodbye to you all personally and will make every effort to come play in your city, town, college, pub, club, performing arts center..."
This focused farewell tour will bring Black 47 to the Irish Heritage Center of Greater Cincinnati on Thursday October 9. "We are extremely fortunate to be included in their farewell tour," says Margaret McGurk, a supporter of the IHC.
Kirwan, a native of Wexford, Ireland, came to the US in his 20s and found a home in New York City and in the famous nightclub CBGBs. In the 25 years Black 47 has been together, they have recorded more than 15 albums, toured worldwide and have made numerous television appearances. They are known for their politically-charged lyrics and for assimilating traditional Irish tunes into their rock melodies. Some of their more popular songs include "Bobby Sands, MP" and "Funky Céilí."
Along with his music, Kirwan his written several books including his autobiography Green Suede Shoes: An Irish-American Odyssey and an alternate history of the Beatles entitled Liverpool Fantasy.
In January of 2012, for Around Cincinnati, I spoke with Kirwan about his history, his books and his music when he came to the IHC to perform one of his "Rock and Read" performances.
The Irish Heritage Center of Greater Cincinnati is located at 3905 Eastern Ave in Columbia Tusculum. Tickets are more information is available at irishcenterofcincinnati.com.
"Bás In Eireann" by Black 47 from the album Bankers and Gangsters