Live In New York City
When I think of what an internationally renowned Irish band should sound like, I don’t think of U2, or the Cranberries, or the Commitments for that matter. Black 47, who have been around for nearly a decade, fit the bill neatly, not just for their integration of traditionally Irish instruments and music forms with the rest of their diverse musical talents, but for their warm and congenial sense of humor — listen to any Black 47 record, and you’ll wish you could toss back a pint or ten with these folks. They’ll not only get your comatose carcass home safe, but also concoct a believable excuse for the missus.
Recorded on St. Patrick’s Day, 1998, the disc clearly shows the band’s stage presence, and the crowd eats it up. Black 47’s pan-global sound draws influence from all over (the album kicks off with a rendition of Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds”) and the eight-piece band is not only tight and spectacularly talented, but so obviously enamored with playing their music to an appreciative audience that you can’t help but smile and play the record over again.
Gadfly Records, P.O. Box 5231, Burlington, VT 05402; http://www.gadflyrecords.com