Saturday, February 14, 2004
A Valentine's Evening of Love-Songs with Mack Bailey, Christina Muir & Mary Sue Twohy at Cellar Stage in Baltimore, Md on February 13, 2004

With sweethearts like these 3 singer-songwriters, and a Valentine's Day theme, who would guess that one of the performers would wonder on stage "could be called a X-rated folk show?" Is the theme of love songs just too steamy, or is Christina's mischievous wit inspiring wit in the others?

Mack enjoys the music therapy he is doing and sings some of the songs he does there: songs about the funny side of love and what happens when love has glitches. He is great as always. However, I am most enchanted with his very beautiful new song written for children who need healing, Listen to the Children, "I have a heart, can you fill it with your love". NEWS ALERT - the newest Limeliter is our own Mack Bailey!

Christina sings Stawberries about buying strawberries and "playing a game of hide and seek". In another song, inspired by Dr. Seuss, Christina travels rapidly from speechless to forward.. Recalling being verbally hijacked, Christina sang Cat's Meow - "When The Cat Got my Tongue". And she talks about opening her heart again in New Day.

Mary Sue Twohy's song Baltimore is about loving more fiercely in the face of death, and almost losing a first love, her Dad. When Mary Sue's dad was critically ill John Hopkin's Hospital saved his life. But getting there wasn't easy. Her dad taught her to drive, and she has been driving for years. But driving to Baltimore was very hard. As Mary Sue sings "lost again in Baltimore - turn left into a dead end, turn right into the dark night" my eyes fill with tears. I heard this song first at the Takoma Park Folk Festival and I cry again hearing it, even though the story ends well. And more NEWS. Mary Sue has fallen in love, has moved to Washington DC and is in the process of merging 2 households. Her love songs tonight are so convincing. In all her songs she has such presence, conviction, and gentle firm beauty.

The format is round robin. But after discovering what a gorgeous sound happens when they back each other up, the women at least, are not willing to let go. Christina asks Mack to back her up. Then Mary Sue asks and he hesitates, a nonverbal "what again". Christina jokes "It's like it's his first time". Maybe you had to be there to get why Mary Sue asked, "is this an X-rated folk show?" Maybe you had to hear Mack teasingly referred to as "the bone in the soup". Christina Muir's partner from the Trio Hot Soup, Sue Trainer, even teased Mack from the audience.

At the break I hear about MacFMP, the Mid-Atlantic Coalition of Folk Music Presenters, a non-profit trade association whose purpose was (is) to create a network of venues, and support coordinated booking and grow the musical community. What a great idea! I make a mental note to find out more about it. And friends and I talk about what a great trio these 3 make.

After the break, Joyce tells us that Christina and Mary Sue have never performed together before and that this trio effort is unrehearsed. What great harmony they make backing each other up on songs. Joyce asks the audience what we should call them. The Love Letters? The Hot Love Trio! Yes, The Hot Love Trio fits! At the end there is a standing ovation for the Hot Love Trio!

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