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Kelly Bell Band to play at O'Malley announcement

O'Malley's March
O'Malley's March

Former Gov. Martin O'Malley will likely be too busy to pick up the guitar much this weekend.

But the Democrat and former Baltimore mayor, who is widely expected to launch his presidential campaign in Federal Hill Park on Saturday, will not be going music-free for his "special announcement." Instead, the Baltimore-based Kelly Bell Band will perform for those who turn out to hear O'Malley's news.

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The long-running blues band, well established in the Mid-Atlantic, has played for O'Malley before. In 2005, the group warmed up for what was one of O'Malley's last appearances as mayor fronting his own Irish rock band.

That band, O'Malley's March, made something of a comeback during O'Malley's second term in Annapolis. It has played at the White House, at the Democratic National Convention and, more recently, for a group of young Democratic supporters in Washington.

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Details of O'Malley's event at 10 a.m. on Saturday are beginning to make their way into view. The former governor is expected to become the third candidate for the Democratic nomination, following Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Ari Nisman, the band's booking agent, said frontman Bell has long supported O'Malley personally and professionally. Nisman added that the band hasn't been told, exactly, what the gig is.

"We aren't 100 percent sure what this weekend's announcement is about," Nisman said. "There's been plenty of speculation. We were told that it's a big announcement [and] Kelly has never hesitated when O'Malley has asked him to join in the past."

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