Larry Kirwan (born in Wexford, Ireland) is an expatriate Irish writer and musician, most noted as the lead singer for the New York-based Irish rock band, Black 47.
Prior to Black 47, Kirwan and fellow Wexfordian Pierce Turner were the house band in Malachy McCourt's Bells of Hell in Greenwich Village. Their music was a blend of folk, trad, progressive rock, Celtic rock and punk. The group was one of the few groups banned from CBGB's. In the words of Hilly Kristal they were "too demonic". They then led the new wave band Major Thinkers for some years. Their song Avenue B (is the place to be) became a radio hit whereupon they were signed to Epic-Portrait Records. They recorded an album: Terrible Beauty, that was never released and after a performance in Irving Plaza on St. Patrick's Day 1985 they disbanded.
Kirwan has also written and produced eleven plays and musicals, some of which have been performed in the United States and Europe. The plays deal mainly with Irish history and politics. The most popular is Liverpool Fantasy. Five of the plays: Liverpool Fantasy, Days of Rage, Mister Parnell, Blood and Night in the Garden are published in the book, Mad Angels. Kirwan is working on a musical: Transport, with Australian author Thomas Keneally.
Kirwan formed Black 47 with Chris Byrne in late 1989 after a jam in Paddy Reilly's Pub in Manhattan. The band has released 13 CDs including Fire of Freedom (1993) containing the hit Funky Ceili; Iraq (2008) and Bankers and Gangsters (2010). They have performed over 2000 shows.
Since April 2005, he has hosted Celtic Crush, a radio show on Sirius Satellite Radio that features artists from the 8 Celtic nations who play a wide variety of genres. He also writes a weekly column for the Irish Echo. He has published several books, including a novel version of Liverpool Fantasy and a new novel: Rockin' The Bronx was published in February 2010.
In 2013 he co-produced a various artists compilation for Valley Entertainment titled Larry Kirwan's Celtic Invasion.1971 - Aftermath - We Have No More Babies Left/Neck and Neck(Original Version)
1973 - Turner and Kirwan of Wexford - Neck and Neck(New Version)/When Starlings Fly
1974 - Turner and Kirwan of Wexford - Bootleg
1978 - Turner and Kirwan of Wexford - Absolutely and Completely
1980 - Turner and Kirwan of Wexford - The Book of The Law/Heretix
1987 - Chill Faction - Eggman on the Deuce
1989 - Black 47 - Home of the Brave/Live in London
1991 - Black 47 - Black 47
1992 - Black 47 - Black 47 EP
1993 - Black 47 - Fire of Freedom
1994 - Black 47 - Home of the Brave
1996 - Black 47 - Green Suede Shoes
1998 - Larry Kirwan - Keltic Kids
1999 - Black 47 - Live in New York City
2000 - Black 47 - Ten Bloody Years of Black 47
2000 - Black 47 - Trouble in the Land
2001 - Larry Kirwan - Kilroy Was Here
2001 - Black 47 - On Fire
2004 - Black 47 - New York Town
2005 - Black 47 - Elvis Murphy's Green Suede Shoes
2006 - Black 47 - Bittersweet Sixteen
2008 - Black 47 - Iraq
2010 - Black 47 - Bankers and Gangsters
2011 - Black 47 - A Funky Ceili
2013 - Various Artists - Larry Kirwan's Celtic Invasion