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If anyone is left standing, it’ll be Black 47. The band is celebrating an astonishing 20 years of rocking the world with the Celtic-influenced genre it pioneered, not to mention championing various political and social issues. Known for its partying as much as its politics, Black 47 has released 13 albums on major and indie labels, toured the world and blown the genre of Celtic rock wide open for many a band to follow.

Now, two years after the release of its provocative album, IRAQ, hailed by Rolling Stone as “an important document, more a prayer than a protest,” Black 47 returns with its 14th release, Bankers and Gangsters. The band employs its distinctive ever-broadening mélange of New York styles - rock, reggae, hip-hop, folk, Irish traditional, downtown noise, jazz and blues – on this celebratory eclectic mix highlighted by some top-shelf storytelling. The new songs range from the rocking socio-political commentary of “Long Hot Summer” and “Bankers and Gangsters” through humorous scenarios like “Long Lost Tapes of Hendrix” and “Izzy’s Irish Rose” to the classic pop songwriting and romantic nostalgia of “Yeats and Joyce” and “That Summer Dress.”

“This time it was more about creating a balance between the joyous and the thoughtful,” said front man Larry Kirwan. “Really focusing on the rhythm section and coming up with innovative arrangements for the brass and pipes.


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