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This concludes my three part interview with Larry Kirwan. This section gives an insight into Larry's views on Sirius, and its future including the proposed merger, along with what Larry hopes to accomplish going forward with Celtic Crush, Black 47, and his other many projects.

This interview was originally done for in March 2007

PART 3 of 3

Larry Kirwan hosts "Celtic Crush" on Sirius Disorder (ch. 32) which airs:
Saturdays 10 am - 1 pm ET
Rebroadcast Tuesdays 10 pm - 1 am ET

Larry Kirwan Interview - Part 3 - Sirius Questions for Larry

What do you listen to on Sirius besides Sirius Disorder?

I listen to Disorder quite a bit, as I enjoy Meg’s programming.  I used to love The Globe and, like many, wish that Sirius would bring back a World channel.  Otherwise, I listen to the Jazz station as I’m a Miles Davis freak.  And, of course, the Reggae channel, Left of Center, and Outlaw Country.  I also enjoy the Opera and classical music channels.  But I often just spin around and stop when I hear something interesting.

What do you see in the future for satellite radio?  For FM?

I think satellite radio will continue to prosper as long as people feel that they’re getting a good choice.  FM, because of the strict programming, is pretty much a joke, particularly to someone who remembers its golden age.

Do you think the proposed Sirius/XM merger will help or hurt the great content on Sirius?

It should help, particularly if Bob Dylan comes with the package.  The only dangers would be complacency, restricted play lists, and lack of familiarity with the tastes of the audience.  FM was once a great medium too; now look at it.  But I’m optimistic.  Satellite Radio is a blast.  It’s also not the Cross Bronx Expressway.  The potholes are very obvious and can be avoided, if the will and the smarts are there.

Irish music has traditionally been targeted for the older demographic.  Do you see the older generation figuring out the technology of satellite radio?

Well, I’ve always differed with those who program Irish shows.  They always speak down to the older generation:  “Flogging Molly/Black 47 are too way out there for you.”  Whereas I know that Black 47 has a huge cross-generational audience that loves the excitement of our live performance.  I’ve never seen a need to limit the audience to one or two types of music.  Musicians love to be challenged and hear different types of music back to back.  That’s what Celtic Crush is all about and that’s what people love about the show.  I personally think that a more senior generation would love the choices presented on satellite radio and should be targeted, not just with oldies shows but with intelligent modern music that speaks to their souls.

I've seen quite a few posts on SiriusBackstage over the years wishing Sirius would have an Irish music channel - Any chance that Sirius will extend Celtic Crush to its own channel or anything like that?

It would seem like an obvious fit given that over 60 million people in the US are of Celtic descent, and there is no national station that caters to them.  It would definitely be an exhilarating channel.  But although I’ve heard murmurs on the matter, I’ve never brought it up.  Besides, I enjoy what I’m doing so much; I figure if it happens it happens.  Oddly enough, I’m working on a new project with echoes of such a channel – a type of Celtic myspace, which will be unveiled on March 17th.  It will also have a webzine format.  The idea is to have a forum for all Celtic musicians, writers, dramatists, film-makers.  Celtic people from all over the world can have their own free page and the facility to communicate with each other and share their interests.  At the same time, they can check out the songs and writings of the artists.  Perhaps, the success – or failure – of this venture will point a way towards a Celtic Channel.

Any chance that you might want to do for Irish music what Little Steven has done for garage music?  (host your own channel, start a record label, and run festivals).

Were the situation to arise and the conditions right, I’d definitely consider it.  There’s a tremendous market for an Irish/Celtic channel, and it could be a lot of fun.  I think such a channel should also have some talk involved in it.  The Celts are a loquacious bunch and enjoy a good yarn or two. But for right now, I’m thoroughly enjoying myself doing Celtic Crush and am actually chomping at the bit to get into the studio for next week’s show.

How do you find time to write plays and new songs, play with Black 47 weekly at Connolly’s (and elsewhere), AND record a weekly show on Sirius?

Black 47 plays about 125 gigs a year so it’s no joke being in the back of a van hurtling around the country.  On the other hand, there’s a lot of down time and having a laptop with me I can work on my ideas – or just think.  I never watch television, so that frees up a lot of time and I’m not a big sleeper.  I also love to create – no matter what.  I have a full life but you’d be better off asking a taxi-driver with four children at home, how he manages to sit behind a wheel for 12 hours a day.  My life is a bed of roses compared to that person’s life.

What projects do you have lined up?

Well, I have a new play – The Heart Has a Mind of its Own - being produced in September.  This is very important to me as I love the theatre – have written 10 plays or musicals, most of which have been produced - and have been on a too-long, self-imposed sabbatical.  I also have a new novel, Rockin’ The Bronx, with my agent; so, hopefully, that will see the light of day in the next year or so.  And I’m on the road with Black 47, as ever, writing new songs for a CD which should come out at the end of the year.  We’ll be playing BB Kings on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th.  With Mike Farragher of the Irish Voice, I’m creating a Celtic community space called that will have a webzine quotient too.  Apart from that, I’m just trying to enjoy life and live it to its fullest.  “Another day above ground,” as the poet was heard to say.

Oh, and for the many who entered the competition for the Sirius trip to Ireland last year; Black 47 will be running another tour in November 07.  For details, go to

Thank you so much Larry for taking the time out to give me a great interview -- Best of luck with all your endeavors - I know we'll be hearing a lot from you!

-=James Hannon -- "JimboXLax"

Recommended Websites:

Celtic Lounge

James Hannon (Aka "JimboXLax" on has been a member of the Sirius Backstage community since August 2003 and is a "Top Dog" there.

He is also a filmmaker who has released a documentary on the 60's garage band Richard and the Young Lions, and is currently working on a series about Bronx Gangs of the 1950's and 1960's such as the Ducky Gang and the Fordham Baldies - immortalized in the great fictional Bronx movie "The Wanderers".

You can find out more about these projects and James at: or my Myspace page
You can reach James at

2560 US Hway 22, PMB 156
Scotch Plains, NJ 07076

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