The parade of costumes continued on Friday night at the latest Magners Irish Session in Chicago and Mike Austin was there again to tell us all about it.
At the beginning of the night the Holy Hour House Band waited politely to begin playing until a “Where’s Waldo” and two pirates finished their game of pool in front of the stage. After the last ball dropped, the table got covered and the band fired up just as Paul Bunyan and his ox, Blue, walked in.
“Drunken sailor!” shouted one of the pirates. “This is your opportunity to come up and sing one yourself,” said the smiling HHHB leader Frank Quinn.
Shouts and whistles came from the crowd. Many audience members pointed at each other. In the end, no one stepped forward to sing and the band started in “Magic Slipper,“ a jaunty polka. Waldo clapped vigorously to the beat but did not appear to be any closer to getting ready to sing.
Julie Hernandez was in the crowd. You may remember her from O’Shaughnessy’s, where she won the big Magners giveaway and went home with an iPod. She says she plans on filling her iPod with tunes from the Magners Web site!
The author D.P. Costello was there, too. He was in town from Washington, D.C. to promote his novel, The Rag Tree, at a weekend books and music festival at the Irish American Heritage Center. On Friday night, after a kick-off dinner at the Heritage Center, Costello and Jack Smith hightailed it down to the Hidden Shamrock to catch the second half of the HHHB’s music and drink a few ciders. To settle the stomach after dinner, of course.
“Are there any cider references in your book?” I asked Costello. He paused and looked at the ceiling, trying to recall every word in his book. “I think there might be some cider in it,” he said. “Yeah, I think so .I’m not sure.”
Hey, let’s see you write a book about Ireland and try to remember every word in it, and everything your characters drank.
Captain America was there, too, and so was a dancing banana. It was an odd but delightful scene–so delightful that after the gig, people on the street were mobbing HHHB drummer and bodhran player Tim Mulvenna, who was simply trying to make his way to his car to load it up and head home. I thought at one point Mulvenna might sign some autographs, and maybe he would have, had he not been on his way home with his wife Buzz. When you’re good, you’re good, what can he say?
You’ve got one more chance to catch Mulvenna and the HHHB before the Magners Chicago Irish Session is but a sweet, cidery memory. Catch the HHHB for the last time, and Kevin Flynn & The Avondale Ramblers (perhaps for your first time?), Thursday night at the legendary Abbey Pub. There’s no cover to get in, and the party starts around 7:30. And if you want Tim Mulvenna’s autograph, make sure you catch him before he leaves the building!