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Elvis Murphy's Green Suede Shoes

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Album Review

Elvis Murphy's Green Suede Shoes is the audio companion to Black 47 bandleader Larry Kirwan's memoir, Green Suede Shoes: An Irish-American Odyssey. The six brand-new tracks, as well as two re-recorded cuts from previously deleted albums and two songs culled the Wexford-born writer/musician/playwright's numerous side projects, tell the story of an Irish immigrant on the rocky road to America and his eventual slide into the welcoming arms of rock & roll. Black 47 are as New York City as Lou Reed and as working class as Bruce Springsteen, but despite their local iconic status, their bluesy brand of Celtic rock never truly caught on with the general public. Kirwan, who tells stories like Bob Dylan and sings like an even more affected version of Kevin Rowland from Dexys Midnight Runners, is a relentlessly energetic soul, a tireless advocate for the blue-collar pub crawler, and a genuinely talented writer with a band — whose members still play with the intensity of musicians half their age — that instinctually follows his every step. It's a shame that so many people can't get past his manic delivery and familial earnestness, because songs like "Far Side of the Wall," "Into the West," and the rousing "Uncle Jim" are what the American experience is all about: love and suffering, drinking, forgiving and acceptance.

Customer Reviews

Elvis Murphy's Green Suede Shoes

Black 47's Larry Kirwan has released this excellent CD via independent label, Gadfly Records, to accompany his memoir of the same title. I was compelled to seek out the album after listening to Sirius radio's Left of Center and hearing the fabulous song, "Downtown Baghdad Blues". Happily, I discovered the whole album is as passionate and rocking as Downtown Baghdad Blues. The 12 tracks seem interconnected thru deep personal emotions voiced clearly within the lyrics and music. I highly recommend this album to anyone who enjoys storytelling mixed with irish inspired blue collar americana music. Support outstanding and passionate independent music and buy the album.

Better then the last one

This album is a huge improvement over New York Town however I'm still overly annoyed by the recycled songs. The last 4 songs were on Kirwan's solo album (which was incredible). With that aside the newbies are refreshing and tight.


Formed: 1990

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Black 47 (a name deriving from the year 1847, the blackest year of the Irish potato famine) is a New York-based band made up of Irish expatriates and led by songwriter/playwright Larry Kirwan. In addition to Kirwan (vocals, guitar), the band consists of Chris Byrne (uilleann pipes, tin whistle, vocals), Fred Parcells (trombone, tin whistle, vocals), Jeff Blythe (saxophone), Thomas Hamlin (percussion), and David Conrad (bass). Black 47 plays a mixture of traditional Celtic folk music, rock & roll,...
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Elvis Murphy's Green Suede Shoes, Black 47
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