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Black 47: Funky Céilí

For Columbus Day, here is a look at some folks who came to America and thrived. Black 47 has been playing around New York City for years. Here is a bit of its profile at Last.fm:

If anyone is left standing, it’ll be Black 47. The band is celebrating an astonishing 20 years of rocking the world with the Celtic-influenced genre it pioneered, not to mention championing various political and social issues. Known for its partying as much as its politics, Black 47 has released 13 albums on major and indie labels, toured the world and blown the genre of Celtic rock wide open for many a band to follow.

and an interesting FAQ at the band’s site  and a blog by lead singer Larry Kirwan.

Other Black 47 songs:

Green Suede Shows

Five Points

Maria’s Wedding

The Big Fellah

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Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.