When you take Celtic, Spanish, and Italian Music, and mix it up, you get the true nature of the Black Irish Band. For twenty-four years this band has created an original sound that no other band has. With over 500 concert performances to date and airplay around the world, the band has kept very busy spreading their brand of progressive folk music to a large audience. Performing both traditional and original music the band is very focused on presenting acoustic music in a very exciting up-beat way that appeals to all ages. The band has written and recorded 96 original songs that appear on many of the bands twenty-four CD recordings. Many of the original works written by the band are based on Celtic history.
Hailing from the historic Gold Rush Country of America, the four members Black Irish Band of twenty-four years have a musical style that is as timeless as the rugged landscape of the west, a tribute to the people whose lives were spent building the world we now take for granted. The band has a large compliment of traditional maritime and railroad music, as well as ethnic tunes in their repertoire. They excel at Irish & Scottish, Italian, and American folk music with an assortment of original songs and traditional western ballads. The bands musical style captures the spirit of the immigrants of this land, the men and women who tamed the Wild West.
Patrick Michael Karnahan: banjo, melodeon, octave mandolin, trumpet, guitar, concertina, vocals
Steve McArthur: accordion, guitar, piano, vocals
James Nelson: banjo, guitar, vocals
Richard Restivo: acoustic bass, trumpet, vocals
"Into the Fire" movie video is in honor of the men & women who fight wildfires in America, past & present. Patrick Michael Karnahan wrote this song ballad based on the work of fire crews, engine crews, and air attack, who work for the United States Forest Service. The narration is done by band friend Michael Martin Murphey (Wildfire fame). The band performing in the music video is the Black Irish Band of 23 years. The original song is featured on the bands 2007 release, "Into the Fire". The version here is however brand new. The lead vocal is done by Black Irish member James Dean Nelson. Michael Martin Murphey is also featured throughout the song in a cameo roll and is included at the beginning and the end of the song.
The songwriter has worked 17 seasons for the United States Forest Service as a firefighter and forester. In 2005 the forest service picked Patrick to perform his original songs at the Smithsonian's Folklife Festival and Kennedy Center in Washington DC.
Highlights over the past 22 years:
The Black Irish Band has gained much national attention over the years. In 2005 the band was featured at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and performed at the National Mall and Kennedy Center. The band was featured on CBS "This Morning". In 2000 the band headlined at the International Music Festival in Singapore. The band also was the featured performers for the 100th Anniversaries of the Alaskan Gold Rush and White Pass & Yukon Railroad. Because of the
historical nature of the Black Irish Band many venues such as, the Alaska History Museum, Golden Spike NHS, Gene Autry Museum, the Los Angels, San Diego, and San Francisco Maritime Museums have headlined the group in the past.
The band has sold 180,000 albums independently to date, and their music has been featured on College Radio Stations, National Public Radio, and on Satellite Radio Programming. Their recent original song, “Grizzly of Old California”, which features the vocals of Michael Martin Murphey, has been broadcasted on stations throughout the world. Another noted original work by the band, “Ballad of John Muir”, has been celebrated on the official John Muir National web site. The band also boasts eighty-five music videos on You-Tube at trainfire28. The bands latest album is entitled, “This Summer”, and is possibly the most creative. The music is unique because it celebrates the music of the 1950s with Celtic style.