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After more than 2,500 shows over 25 years, Black 47 is calling it quits — but not quietly. Founder Larry Kirwan says, "Why not go out with a bang, the way we came in with a bang, rather than let it drift off."
So, Black 47 will end in November, exactly 25 years after beginning with the simple ambition of "Rockin' the Bronx."
Forget the leprechauns and fairies and unicorns; this band of Irish rockers blows up yesterday's reedy, tweedy, Irish Spring image and grinds it into your face. Black 47 may be one of the best live bands in the country: at their best, their combination of traditional Irish tunes, pure rock energy and frequent digressions into hip-hop and reggae forms make for a thrilling ride. Call them the American Pogues if you like; that sums up the gestalt of it as well as any other comparison.
Black 47 are as New York City as Lou Reed and as working class as Bruce Springsteen, but despite their local iconic status, their bluesy brand of Celtic rock is still very much an underground sensation. When they've got their Irish mojo workin' Black 47 can be one of the most exciting rock & roll bands around.