What's louder than the jousting pit at Michigan Renaissance Festival? Why its Thursday nite at O'Mara's pub in downtown Berkley, MI. The place was packed to capacity as those of us without reservations waited for half an hour or more for the chance to sit down. Though I could just barely see Owain's head by cranking my neck around at the bar, the amplifiers ensured that his and Judy Plester's presence was very immediate. By my estimation, at least half the crowd was in Renaissance garb, the bouncer cutting a fairly realistic profile as Friar Tuck.

Owain opened up with "In Hac Valle Florida" and "Drive the Cold Winter Away" (Live the Legend). He also included familiar fare such as "Fuggi Fuggi Fuggi" with typical audience participation shtick. One of the choruses was played on a steel guitar and another on recorder (I didn't hear the names of the performers clearly). Also off the Where Beauty Moves and Wit Delights album was a rousing chorus of "Wee be Soldiers Three" with quite a lot of audience participation. Owain also sang one of my personal favorites "She Moved Through The Fair / Once I Had a Sweetheart" (Odyssey) which I'd never heard live before. Owain played on for about an hour and half before finishing with "A Health to the Company" (Poets Bards and Singers of Song) of course.

We started off with the crab-stuffed mushroom appetizers and I continued on with the swordfish dinner. Great food at really reasonable prices.

Thursday nite at O'Maras will continue until Owain sells his house. Given the experiences of other people I know in this down real estate market, it won't be easy unless one comes down about 20% from a typical asking price. Whatever the reason for leaving, he will be missed. Fortunately, a January concert date at O'Maras is already on the docket. So if you missed last night, you have at least one more chance.