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Posts by MichaelF
Every Sunday, and I mean ALMOST EVERY SUN, a corner of the Bethesda triangle gears up for the weekly get-together of the Mary Ann Redmond crowd at Flanagan's Harp and Fiddle. This has become a tradition that started at the old Flanagan's and has carried on at their current location at 4844 Cordell Avenue, just off of Woodmont.
Invariably, newbies in for the first show will ask a neihgbor within the first couple of songs if this is all for real. Mary Ann has always had a fantastic lineup and these days, she is featuring Dan Hovey on guitar; Mike "Tony" Echols on bass; and–as if the group needed an extra kick–Deren Blessman on drums. So, What's for dinner? It never hurts ot have your choice of classic Irish dishes to make for a nice end for your weekend.
The Sunday show starts a bit earlier than the usual nine o'clock kickoff time. Enjoy a nice dinner and catch a couple of sets and you are still in bed to be up and ready to go bright and early Monday morning. You may also see a few other musicians in the audience and one or two may just get up and join Mary Ann for a tune.
Over the years, the Mary Ann Redmond Band has featured popular local artistst Jon Carroll, Mike Ault, Benjie Porecki, Jon Osment, Gary Grainger, Steve Taylor along with drummers Blues Webb, Andy Hamburger, and Greg Grainger amongst many.
Flanagans Harp and Fiddle is a classic pub. You will find the darts in the back room. For the soccer and Irish sports fans, you can count on seeing all the key matches at the pub along with a full schedule of NFL games on their numerous TV screens. If you happen to show up early for a European match, count on one the Harp and Fiddle's classic Irish breakfasts or you can go straight for the Bangers and Mash.
Coming up this weekend on the 25th of February, 2012… it is indeed Flatfoot Sam with his wonderful ensemble. It's true, Zoo Bar is the size of a postage stamp. Everyone in the club has to move around to allow the guitarist enough room to turn around and talk to the drummer. It's that freakin' small. With small, you get musicians who are nearly in your lap whailing away and no one will give you 110% like the Sam's Educated Fools–leading the way with Sam is his longtime partner in crime Baby Jake, Steve Jacobs on guiltar. There is no question that Sam's group is there to entertain. They work very hard and clearly enjoy their time in front of the crowd.
If you find yourself on Connecticut Ave NW near the Zoo…. if you happen to be across from the zoo and it's past 9 pm this Saturday, then jump in for one and take in a set at the Zoo Bar. Mention our names to Same and you will get a big Huh?! Don't forget, these guys always have their water pitcher out for tips. Leave them a couple bucks for us!
Check out this classic Blues spot as soon as you can. Go the Zoo Bar website for their weekly schedule. Don't forget to catch their open mike orchestrated by local harp legend, Big Boy Little, otherwise know as, Bret Littlehales.
Editor's Note: According to Sam's posting on facebook, tonite is the last night of this long standing gig. Everyone is entitiled to stop for a while and recharge the batteries. That said, make sure you hit this last show. Keep your eye peeled for other Educated Fools shows around the area.
If you thought for sure that you heard that Ireland's Four Fields was "toast," then you were wrong!
At least for another several months. Without too many details, what we know is that one of Washington's favorite watering holes and music venues is still going strong–dart boards and all. Last year, there were indications that the longtime business was going to bit the dust as music groups were no longer being booked. Just as the end approached, the reality of the real estate industry KO'ed the deal or at least caused a delay. So, a land developer's loss is our gain. We say, 'Take advantage!"
Within the next couple of weeks, you will be able to see two ROR favorites. Kevin James will be performing this Friday and Saturday, February 24th and 25th. Kevin has for years been one of the most popular solo performers on the Irish club circuit.
On the 9th and 10th of March, 40 Thieves will take over the Four Fields stage. If there is any doubt that they enjoy performing, that notion will certainly be dispelled within the first fifteen seconds of their opening song. Melanie Caudron and Dave Dresser front the group with Dave on guitar and Melanie complimenting their singing with some fine tin whistle.
DC area favorites, Charlie McNamara on bass and Randy Latimer on fiddle fill out the sound exceptionally well as does drummer Scott Fitzpatrick.
When the end finally comes for Ireland's Four Fields, rest assured that an important slice of the Washington DC Irish music scene will be lost. For decades, the club provided one of the best music stages in town. Be sure to schedule at least one more visit for some tunes and a pint or two.
See you there.