Larry Kirwan is an Irish punk-bard. He fronted the New York band Black 47 for more than 25 years before that group disbanded in 2014. That band — like Kirwan's solo material — was both literary and of-the-people.
There are connections to Springsteen, Dylan, the Clash, Patti Smith, and U2 to be made in Kirwan's work. If you appreciate the narrative riches of the Irish, the sense of ceaseless wandering, displacement, the mix of sad, sweet and profound, Kirwan will give you a taste of what you like, with a 21st-century perspective.
Kirwan has written plays and novels as well. He was an outspoken critic of George W. Bush and that president's drive to war after 9/11. One might reasonably expect candor and intelligence and politically charged defiance from Kirwan as we approach the inauguration of a new president.
Larry Kirwan performs at the afternoon show at Cafe Nine, 250 State St., New Haven, Sunday, Jan. 15, at 4 p.m. Tickets are $10 to $12. 203-789-8281 or cafenine.com.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Larry Kirwan's name.