Kilroy Was Here

Kilroy Was Here

by Larry KirwanLarry Kirwan


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Since Larry Kirwan is the lead singer and chief songwriter of his own band, Black 47, one may validly ask why he needs to launch a concurrent solo recording career with Kilroy Was Here. (His earlier release, Keltic Kids, was a children's album.) The answer, on the evidence of this disc, is that he wanted an outlet for his softer, more extended reflections. Black 47 member Fred Parcells provides brass and string arrangements played on his own trombone, Rich Viruet's trumpet, Faith Glassman and Lisa Gutkin's violins, and David Conrad's cello, and they, along with the guitar, bass, and drums, provide stately, melodic backgrounds to Kirwan's lengthy ballads. Set at loping tempos, the songs are full of Kirwan's contemplations of life and memory, contemplations not unlike those he engages in his Black 47 songs. As usual, he is describing the background of an Irish expatriate who comes to New York ("Life's Like That, Isn't It?" is another of his autobiographies), but remains obsessed by his native country and its troubled history. It isn't hard to point to the influences here. Van Morrison's Astral Weeks is a clear antecedent, as is Bruce Springsteen's The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle, at least on its ballads. (See also the Waterboys and Dexys Midnight Runners.) Kirwan's voice remains an acquired taste; he alternates between a throaty, near-spoken tone and a strained, adenoidal tenor wail, always sounding much more impressed with his own lyrics than any listener could ever be. But there are songs that justify his sense of drama, notably "Molly," in which the other man in a romantic triangle expresses his emotional turmoil. Still, this is an album for people who have already discovered Kirwan through Black 47 and become sympathetic to his worldview and tolerant of his voice.

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Product Details

Release Date: 02/27/2001
Label: Gadfly
UPC: 0076605227326
catalogNumber: 273
Rank: 150254


  1. Molly
  2. The Only Living Boy in New York
  3. Kilroy Was Here
  4. History of Ireland, Pt. 1
  5. Fatma
  6. Life's Like That, Isn't It?
  7. Symphony in Blue
  8. Girl in the Rain
  9. Spanish Moon
  10. Walkin' With Her God
  11. History of Ireland (Contd.)

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Larry Kirwan   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Hammond Synth
Mike Fazio   Pedal Steel Guitar
Lisa Gutkin   Violin
Stewart Lerman   Guitar,Hammond Synth
Paul Ossola   Electric Bass,Double Bass
Fred Parcells   Trombone
Suzzy Roche   Vocals
David Tronzo   Slide Guitar
Frank Vilardi   Percussion,Drums
Copernicus   Vocals
Richie Viruet   Trumpet
David Conrad   Cello

Technical Credits

Larry Kirwan   Producer
Stewart Lerman   Producer,Engineer
Fred Parcells   String Arrangements,Bass Arrangement
Tom Schick   Engineer
Larrt Kirwan   Producer

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