STACEY MCCARTHY PHOTOGRAPHY
By Peter McDermott
Pierce Turner will be joined by his former singing partner Larry Kirwan for one special number tomorrow night (Friday, April 17) at the Donaghy Theatre, Irish Arts Center in Manhattan.
Turner will also be on stage at the venue on Saturday night for a show he calls “Why use two words when 10 will do,” which is also the tentative title of a memoir he’s currently writing.
His story-telling will inevitably bring in the tale of two boys of Wexford who set out for fame and fortune in New York City in the 1970s. They evolved into the Major Thinkers and, among other achievements, came out with an album called “Absolutely and Completely.”
"It's actually very emotional to finally sit and listen to the music of Turner & Kirwan of Wexford,” Kirwan told the Echo. “Pierce and I were total idealists. We only wrote and played whatever we thought was really good - no concessions to commerciality. That's what makes some of these songs timeless.”
Kirwan added: “It will be a blast to be onstage at the Irish Arts Center Friday night revisiting the title track of our album, ‘Absolutely and Completely’."
He has been busier than ever since the fall retirement of Black 47, the extremely popular band he’d fronted since its formation in 1989. Today, (Thursday, April 16), he will perform his one-man show “Foster in the Five Points,” Bergen Community College, Paramus, N.J. at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. (Tickets and information at tickets.bergen.edu.)
And next week, Kirwan will officially launch his “A History of Irish Music,” which promises to tell that extraordinary story “from Medieval Wexford to Midtown Manhattan.”
Meantime, Turner will be joined for this weekend’s shows by Fred Parcells, a Black 47 alumnus, and the singers of Avon Faire.
Turner will take the story from the time he was a Catholic schoolboy and classically-trained musician in Wexford Town to his New York adventures with Kirwan, which included being taken under the wing of folk giant Pete Seeger. When they branched out to separate careers, Turner worked with one of America’s leading composers, Philip Glass, who produced his first solo album. He has also shared the stage with Regina Spektor, Patti Smith, and Iggy Pop.
His music has won critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic, with for instance, New York Magazine calling him “one of this city’s great gems.”
For information about Larry Kirwan, go to www.black47.com. Pierce Turner’s website is www.pierceturner.com. For tickets to the Irish Arts Center shows: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/942466.