Spalpeens to perform at `Night in Ireland' fund-raiser

March 24, 2003|By Fay Lande

The Spalpeens have been playing Irish music for 30 years and will again April 5 at the Elkridge Volunteer Fire Company's fund-raiser, "A Night in Ireland."

For information, Sean Davis is the person to contact: The musicians are members of his family. Davis, a Baltimore firefighter who lives in Ellicott City, volunteers at the Elkridge firehouse.

"My grandfather founded [the band] almost 30 years ago," he said. "The reason he put it together was to kind of keep the family together. When my father and uncles were younger, they all were into music. That's kind of how it started."

Sean's father, Rocky Davis, remembers the family's love of music as the moving force behind starting the band.

"We sang in Irish shows as children, at St. John's Parish in the 10th Ward of Baltimore, which is an old political stronghold. It was all Irish during those years," he said. "Now we, the generations today, are very close, and I think the music does have something to do with it, sure.

"`Spalpeen' is an old Gaelic term," said Rocky Davis, who builds stores for Giant Food. "It means a good-for-nothing, a man of little worth, a laborer. My grandma will call us a `spalpin' - that's how she would pronounce it - when we were bad. When the idea for a group came about, [the name] was my father's idea. He remembered that term from his mom and his grandmom."

The original band was called Bill Davis and Sons. Its founder is now semiretired.

"My father, he's 83 now, he dropped out this past year. So what we do, we get him to the performances and he'll come up and sing a couple songs anyway, and he does a bang-up job. The people love him," Rocky Davis said.

Current band members include his high school friend Jerry Meyers, brother-in-law Michael Fadrowski, brothers Mike and Greg, family friend Pat McGuire and newest band member, daughter Kelly.

Doors will open at 7 p.m. The concert will be from 8 p.m. to midnight.

The kitchen will be open from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Tickets are $20 and include soft drinks, beer, setups and light fare.

Information: Sean Davis, 410-750-1071.

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