After the Baltimore Feis, held in, gee, the suburbs of B'more, with a skipjack on the feis t-shirts (more of that another entry, great to see M!), with traffic jammed on 695, anyway, I figured I'd join (female) Friend again from Friday night at Saturday night's version of the Baltimore Irish Festival.
I just missed "our" Irish dance schools show, heard it was great from audiences perspective, talked with some of them (who laughed that their first show means not entirely a cohesive group yet), and TCRG Ma (who introduced me to someone as "the mother of one of my almost-champion dancers") and her serious beau who bought me a Guinness when I'd asked for Harp but it was still good, and some ceili/set dance friends, etc. Good food (a few potato dishes good for me the veggie), good drinks, and more great music. Somehow I missed food Friday night, lol, staying too close to the stage in the rain for Black 47.
The Ceili Band played, but with time short, there was limited dancing. I was fine with that, even if pegged to be a ringer (dancer she could call upon, among others), by the Caller.
What the heck, I've heard O'Malley's March previous in the now no longer Mrs. O'Leary's Irish Restaurant and Pub, in the days of being "only" the Mayor of Baltimore or perhaps even before then. It was a good show, M (and others) danced for the fun of it in front of them for the crowd gathered for some parade fundraiser or other event. What I didn't realize was how geared to the audience that setlist was, with songs akin to The Unicorn Song, and one about growing up in a Catholic school.
Saturday night? I knew he was cool, but dag, they were super cool, hot. Maryland's Governor, Martin O'Malley is the lead singer and guitar player for O'Malley's March. They hadn't performed in public in 8 months, according to him. He did show up in belted, pressed black pants and not jeans (he may not have worn jeans in years past, either, not really recalling), and a black jacket over a black t-shirt, which, when uncovered, showed what great shape he's in -- someone called for his muscle shirt). Martin himself seemed to loosen up and really be enjoying himself more and more as the show went on, at least 20 minutes over. He dedicated one song to Jesse Winch, great musician who is part of the Bogwanderers and had played with the Ceili Band earlier. It was a really rocking, goodshow!
Their (band) webmaster borrowed M's digital camera from me and got these 2 shots (early in the show), which I'm grateful for (note the date stamp is inaccurate):
Towards the end, Jim Eagen (fiddler on the right) and another guy played a fantastic duet, to which the rest of the band joined in for. (Friend and I happened to end up sitting by his mother and grandmother, all quite proud. He also played at a ceili Sunday, along with Myron, who was the emcee both Friday and Saturday nights for this Baltimore Irish Festival, meaning, the September one, as there is also a November one oy) The encore was a version of, "I hope you have the time of your life," then Martin pulled up a guy named Dominic(k) who recited/sang a ballad about Baltimore, where the crowd pitched in every time Baltimore was to be said.
Then Martin O'Malley himself slid backstage and squirreled off to the band truck. Baltimore police officers were in force along with people who seemed to be Secret Service. Back to his political life. I somewhat followed Martin O'Malley's politics when he was Mayor of Baltimore, and more so when he started campaigning for Maryland state Governor. I liked them, and him. Heck, even now, he's trying to be certain that more middle class/lower middle class children have health care, and etc. (Besides, who could truly vote for his opponent?) I am on his campaign e-mail distribution listing (albeit I never did have the spare time to help out with it). He was educated in Montgomery County, and really is a native Marylander.
So here is this smart, seemingly classy and yet sensitive to the needs of people, great leader of a clean-cut Irish guy (yanno, short haircut reminding me of BJ and Boss), having a lot of FUN rocking all out with a Celtic rock band. I never realized our Governor is so hot.