Hall, March 20
In their 20-plus years together as a band, New York City’s
eclectic Celtic rock outfit Black 47 have played well over
2,000 shows, with a fair-sized chunk of those taking place
here in the Capital Region, from repeat appearances at local
Irish pubs like Saratoga’s Parting Glass and Albany’s McGeary’s
to a memorable show at Bogie’s years ago where frontman Larry
Kirwan lost a tooth after the crowd surged the stage, knocking
the microphone into his mouth.
Last Saturday the band returned to the area for a post-St.
Patrick’s Day gig at Troy’s Revolution Hall. In honor of the
occasion, they played “Banks of the Hudson” from their debut
album, inspired by the hall’s waterfront location, to toast
the river that unites upstate with down. They also paid tribute
to Troy’s Riverfront Park statue of Irishman and temporary
Troy resident James Connolly, the only monument of its kind
in the United States, with a ripping version of “James Connolly,”
their fiery ode to the slain workingman’s hero.
gonna have an Irish dancing competition. You don’t have to
know how to do it, just do it,” the affable Kirwan—wearing
green suede shoes—said early on after executing a dexterous
jig himself on “Celtic Rocker” from the band’s new Bankers
and Gangsters album, a tongue-in-cheek tune that kicks
off with a blast of E-Street-style horns before descending
into a swirling Celtic groove.
Promises of free T-shirts and (jokingly proffered) post-show
dalliances with the band got the smallish crowd in front of
the stage to move, but it’s a shame more people didn’t catch
this local appearance by a band who offer so much instrumental
bang—including trombone, saxophone, pennywhistle and the absurdist
looking, bellow-driven uilleann pipes—for the buck.
They were especially smoking on the reggae-inflected “Fire
of Freedom,” the horn-blasting “Sadr City” from their acclaimed
Iraq album, and set-closer and joyous rave-up “Maria’s Wedding.”
“Mychal” was a touching homage to Black 47 fan and fire department
chaplain Mychal Judge, who died on 9/11.
Local Black 47 fans who missed this one will have a second
chance of sorts when Kirwan appears at the Van Dyck in Schenectady
on April 23 as part of his Rock & Read tour. The frontman,
who is also an author and playwright, will perform songs and
read from his latest novel, Rockin’ the Bronx.
people went for the music, others for the promise of a potential
trainwreck, and there was a little of each at Friday night’s
Club 1980s tour stop at Bogie’s. Following opening sets from
locals the John Morse Band and Dead Serious, the night’s reported
high point came from power-poppers Tommy Tutone, the band
known pretty much exclusively for the 1982 hit “867-5309 (Jenny).”
Then, Michael Astin of Gene Loves Jezebel played a solo acoustic
set. Finally, and ironically, Missing Persons were short singer
Dale Bozzio—one rumor has her splitting town with the tour
manager and all the cash. Bozzio’s backup musicians instead
played cover tunes and ran through a few Missing Persons hits
with a fill-in vocalist. Good times.