Well I feel quite lucky to be on the island while the music awards are here. I went out last weekend with a friend from Kenya (as in she went to Kenya as part of Mikinduri Children of Hope mission trip with me, not that she's Kenyan). We went to a great pub called the Olde Dublin Pub that's in downtown Charlottetown. A group called the 'Boys in the Kitchen' happened to be playing live as free entertainment. Also the drinks were less than $5! Holy cow that's cheap compared to the bars in the States, and is especially surprising considering alcohol costs so much more in the stores here. Anyway, they had great little 'ditties' as my uncle calls them, most of which I had never heard, to the dismay of my friend. As the night wore on my feet started tapping and in a very unlike me move, I was clapping. Don't get me wrong, I like dancing in clubs or a good Texas two-step, but it's rare to get me moving while sitting at a table. Anyway she insisted we go enjoy the ECMAs (East Coast Music Awards) the following weekend so I could really experience this new type of music better. I find it a mix of the Country and Irish music, and the best songs have a good fiddle involved. You'll also hear a number of Johnny Cash songs, which is always an added bonus.
A week later I arrived back at the Dubliner (as it's fondly referred to) and met three more Kenyan friends to enjoy the music. I headed upstairs as the bar is located over a nice restaurant and was stopped at the first landing. There was a very large, intimidating man carding people. I laughed when he asked for my ID as the legal drinking age here is 19. I'm nearly 50% older than that! He then asked for an additional ID since I showed him my Texas license, which apparently isn't local enough for PEI, so he was satisfied with my health card that has only a name and my birthdate on it. Whatever! He then collected a $5 cover which I was a bit surprised since there wasn't one last week, but c'est la vie, what's $5 for some great music?
My friends arrived and we listened to a couple of great local bands. The Boys in the Kitchen played as did a younger group called 'Marian Oh' that threw more of a punk beat into the already eclectic mix. Charlottetown was alive that weekend with people from all over (aka away) who came to enjoy the festival. There were performances all day long from Wed evening to Sunday afternoon, and bars were now open until 3am! The Dubliner was filled with people from 19 to 70, and there was no one age group, sex, or socioeconomic group that dominated. It was truly a mix. People of all ages got up in droves to dance to the livelier tunes. The dancing was neat as if you are used to being in a club and seeing the 'booty dancing', this type would be considered much more innocent. It was group dancing where there was no one way people were moving, but I heard it referred to as the 'PEI shuffle'. I think Kevin James in 'Hitch' could have easily kept up with us. A few people were overachievers and had a great step-dancing going where their feet were flying and it was something between the highland fling, tap, and polka. It was quite an exciting night and even more fun to get up once the fiddle came out to try my foot (as it were) at dancing too. What a blast! We had so much fun at the Dubliner we never ventured out to the other 10 locations that were hosting music at the exact same time. I can see why everyone was excited to have the party come to town. Interesting though, like the good respectful people that are here, there were no reported car accidents, drunk driving, or destructive activity.
I left that evening well after 2 in the morning with the plan to start an airband with my three friends. We had all our roles down. I was either on keyboards or triangle. What a fun evening! Homework assignment: to listen to good east coast music, find some 'Stompin Tom' and get ready to tap your feet.