On The Luck Of An Irish Sailor is a story-song written by Mike Mirabella, recorded with the voice of legendary Shay Black, the eldest of Ireland’s renown Black Family. Shay is the voice that Mike heard in his mind when writing the text more than 50 years ago. The melody of Sailor is an infusion of Mike’s vision, the creative efforts of the master musician and teacher Erik Hoffman, and recognizable riffs of traditional Irish Folk music.

On The Luck Of An Irish Sailor was recorded with authentic Irish folk instruments and was co-produced with Mike by twice-Grammy Award certificated winner Jim Nunally, at Nunally’s recording studio in Crockett, CA.

The Musicians

Jim Nunally

A San Francisco Bay Area-native, Jim is a musician, composer, record producer, and teacher. His third-generation traditional music roots began in Arkansas with his guitar-playing grandfather who taught Jim’s father, who in turn taught Jim. This pedigree contributes to his unmistakably traditional sound.

Jim has been a guitarist and vocalist with the David Grisman Bluegrass Experience since 2003 and has performed with John Reischman and the Jaybirds since 2000.

Erik Hoffman

Erik Hoffman resides in Oakland California and is a master musician on an assortment of folk string instruments. He is also a much sought-after contra and square dance teacher and caller.

Erik also teaches fiddle at the Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley, CA, and is a regular dance caller at both the annual California Bluegrass Association Music Camps as well as other Northern California venues.

Because of his versatile musicianship and vast knowledge of Celtic music, Erik was asked to collaborate on On The Luck Of An Irish Sailor as its primary composer and music coordinator.

Shay Black

Shay Black is an avid song catcher, musician, and singer and is known for his extensive knowledge of songs and music from the Irish, English and Scottish traditions. Born in Dublin, Ireland, he moved in 1994 to Berkeley, CA from Liverpool.

Shay is the eldest member of Ireland’s Black Family, who are “regarded as one of the most impressive groups of Irish singers to be found anywhere” according to a recent review in The Irish Echo. The Black Family includes his brothers Michael and Martin and sisters Frances and Mary Black.

Shay teaches Folk Repertoire at Berkeley’s Freight and Salvage music venue and his most regular local gig is the weekly Starry Irish Music Session at the Starry Plough pub in Berkeley.