Is it possible that no one remembers B.S. Pully? "You're the first person who has asked," says Black 47 head honcho Larry Kirwan when questioned as to why his band's last disc, New York Town, was dedicated to the gravel-voiced actor. Kirwan says Pully was the uncle of Stewart Lerman, the album's co-producer. Family tree aside, however, it was only fitting that an album about life in N.Y.C. be dedicated to Pully, who specialized in playing hard-boiled film characters. Pully personified the city of his birth -- big, loud, gruff, a bit scary -- just like the album itself.
Though his group has an almost messianic following among Irish Americans -- particularly politically conscious ones -- Kirwan has always insisted that Black 47 is a New York City band first, even if most of the characters in his songs see the town through the eyes of Irish immigrants. New York Town was released in January '04, four years after its predecessor, and no one needs reminding of what happened in the city between those dates. But though the CD addresses 9-11, it doesn't dwell on it. Kirwan's New Yorkers are still individuals who laugh, love, argue, struggle, agonize, and dream in their private spheres. The band's new CD, Elvis Murphy's Green Suede Shoes, and Kirwan's latest book, Green Suede Shoes: An Irish-American Odyssey, are set for a March 1 release. The band hits the House of Blues the very next day.