Irish songstress Mary Black dials down touring career 

Irish treasure Mary Black doesn’t want to panic fans with the ominous name, “The Last Call Tour,” which doesn’t represent the end of her public appearances. But there’s some finality, because it is the last time she will tour abroad. “I’m tired of being on the road and doing the long haul from town to town, so I’m giving that all up,” says the velvet-voiced songstress, who turned 59 this year with a bang, issuing her autobiography, “Down the Crooked Road,” and the CD “Soundtrack,” featuring text-relevant tunes from her impressive catalog, which began with her eponymous 1983 debut.

Why an autobiography now?

I was approached three or four years ago to do one by a publisher, and at the time I definitely didn’t feel like it. But then I was feeling like I wanted to wind things down from a touring perspective when they came back to me last year, saying they were still interested. And the idea didn’t seem so foreign to me the second time around.

How long did it take?

At first, you say to yourself “Where do I start?” But a poet friend told me to make sure it was in my own voice, so I just started writing some stories. Then my daughter Roisin – who’s a singer, as well (she opens her show this weekend)– began to get into it, until she was extracting the information out of me. We started the writing late last year, and it was finished by early June. A lot of work went into it, and it was some very precious time that I spent with my daughter.

Any wild stories that didn’t make it in?

There were loads. One funny one was, we were somewhere in Holland on tour, and the hotel had all the blue movie channels that you never get in Ireland. So everyone went to their rooms, and the next morning we all got on the bus. And one of my guys started singing “Melody in Love,” and we all cracked up because we recognized it. It was the theme song to a porn movie, and we’d all been watching it!

Speaking of hotel rooms, what’s the weirdest you ever stayed in?

We were in a haunted 400-year-old hotel – again in Holland – that had once been an orphanage. I got out of bed in the morning, and the next thing I knew, I was pushed across the room toward a glass table, and just barely avoided hitting it. I hit an armchair instead, and badly bruised my ribs. So I turned around and shouted “F--- off! Leave me alone!” I didn’t see anything. But I sure felt it.

IF YOU GO

Mary Black

Where: Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison St., Berkeley

When: 8 p.m. Saturday

Tickets: $41 to $44 (sold out)

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Tom Lanham

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