October 11, 2014
I didn’t actually need to listen to Rise Up to review it as I know every song on this 15 track complication almost by heart. I did listen as it would be unethical to review an album without listening to it and any excuse to listen to Black 47 is a good one. As you may be aware Black 47 are winding down after a twenty five year run and Rise Up is a parting review of how good this band can be. The 15 tracks are Black 47 at their historical and political finest that run the gauntlet of Irish freedom (The Big Fellah and Bobby Sands MP), to socialist heroes (James Connelly & Jim Larkin), historical (Black 47 and San Patricio Brigade) and the more contemporary (Stars and Stripes, Downtown Baghdad Blues & US of A 2014), taken from right across the bands career from the cassette only EP (Patriot Games – the Dominic “brother of Brendan” Behan classic) through their final album Last Call. My count has Black 47 with 50 or 60 political songs under their belt so I’m surprised Rise Up isn’t at least a double album or box set. I’m sure longtime fans may be wondering their personal favorite is (what no Land of de Valera?) though never the less it’s a great representation of the band and what they are (or were come November) and still more informative, entertaining and affordable then taking a political history class at NYU.