The Black Irish Band


“music must rank as the highest of the fine arts – as one which, more than any other ministers to human welfare.” — herbert spencer

Greetings from the California Gold Rush Country

It all started 12 years ago when both Patrick Michael Kamahan and Richard Restivo met on the movie set of Universal’s Back to the Future 3. Both were used in the film as members of the Hill Valley Band. During the many film breaks, the boys got to talk about their love of folk music. Richard, being Sicilian, thought that an idea of a band with no barriers on folk music might be best. Patrick Michael Kamahan, being Irish and having lived there for a while, agreed with Rich and the band was formed.

The name Black Irish was picked at the first band meeting … the same night of California’s Loma Prieta Earthquake. They picked the name for many reasons, the most important being the mixing of culture. The Black Irish were a race of people of Irish and Spanish blood.

To date the band has recorded 10 albums of traditional and original folk music. The Black Irish has recorded a total of 46 of their own compositions. Songwriter Patrick won an ASCAP award in 1997 for America Folk Music. The band is known for its strong mix of Irish, Italian, and American music, however the styles of music do not stop there. The other members, Steve McArthur brings his strong Scottish music background to the band while Ken Darby sings the best of English folk music. Michael Lee, the newest member, loves historical folk music and is very interested in the music of the Amerian Civil War. With a name like Lee it don’t figure!!

The Black Irish have appeared on live radio shows and television many times. The band has become regular musical guests on the radio show West Coast Live! Which airs to the world once a week from San Francisco. The Black Irish have been seen on the CBS television show, This Morning as well as many news reports for special events. Radio stations all around the world have been playing the albums of the Blak Irish for many years. Celtic and American folk radio stations love the fact that the band is so different from other musical groups. Each album has something very special about it; each live performance has something new!