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Despite snow, O'Malley marches on

OMalleysMarch.jpgWhat Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) on Saturday described as "one of the largest snowfalls we've ever had" was not enough to keep his Celtic rock band from playing two shows Sunday to near-capacity crowds at the Rams Head Tavern in Annapolis.

The governor told patrons of the 3 p.m. early show -- which included at least one legislator and a few Annapolis lobbyists -- that they were witnessing an "historic event": the first-ever matinee performance by O'Malley's March.

In its hey day, when the band added a second show due to popular demand, it was usually late at night, O'Malley explained. Since O'Malley graduated from mayor of Baltimore to Maryland governor in 2007, the band's public appearances have waned considerably in number.

Sunday's early show was enthusiastically received, however, by a largely middle-age audience. The set list included some originals, including the O'Malley-penned opener, "Wait for Me," as well as covers of artists including the Saw Doctors, Ewan MacColl and Steve Earle. Several tacks came from the band's fifth release "Galway Races."

"If you buy the whole five-record set, it makes a great Christmas gift," O'Malley deadpanned from the stage.

Though very much the group's frontman, O'Malley allowed other members of the seven-piece band to shine, most notably multi-instrumentalist Jared Denhard, who spearheaded some Christmas numbers.

The band is next scheduled to play March 20 in Towson.

By John Wagner  |  December 20, 2009; 9:07 PM ET
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