Tonight, Larry Kirwan, one of my favorite immigrant rockers, will be reading from his new novel and performing a few songs at Hofstra for free. Kirwan is the lead singer of Black 47, an Irish-American band that combines traditional Irish music with punk rock. It was the only group banned from CBGBs for being “too demonic.”
Kirwan’s songs offer a poignant, angry, and often funny look at Irish immigrant life in New York, from the reasons an immigrant leaves his homeland (to avoid castration at the hands of the angry father of a girlfriend) to exploitation on the job by bosses in the US. His reworking Danny Boy into a defiant lament for an immigrant rejected by his community as he is dying from AIDS is a classic.
Professor Greg Maney, who heads Hofstra’s Irish studies program, sent this announcement along:
This Thursday, September 15, the lead vocalist and guitarist for Black 47, Larry Kirwan will be at Hofstra performing songs and reading from his latest novel Rockin the Bronx.
The performance starts at 6pm and is free and open to the public—no tickets necessary! It will take place in the Helene Fortunoff Theater in Monroe Lecture Center (south side of campus on California Avenue).
There’s ample public parking behind the building. To learn more, contact Peg Matusiak at 516-463-4785 or click here.
Here’s video of their hit “Maria’s Wedding”: