Granny Rocks the Keyboard

The crowds of young D.C. music fans show up on Sunday nights Alice "Granny" Donahue (center), Richard Lynch (far right) and the rest of Granny and the Boys pose with fans and friends outside Showtime Lounge in July Show Time, a dive bar that features perhaps the most unusual show in town. Granny and the Boys include three middle aged African American funk musicians, and “Granny,” 84-year-old Alice Donahue, a white, classically-trained keyboardist who never played in public before this gig that has lasted almost 20 years.

Bassist David Lynch, two decades Donahue’s junior, met her when she was taking college courses soon after her husband died. Despite their age difference, they became a couple. And, in time, she was convinced to fill in for a missing band member. The rest is (unlikely) history.

Donahue, who raised five children, and did not previously have a job, explains it this way: “I can only say God has a tremendous sense of humor.”

In the photo, the three band members wear black t-shirts. Granny stands front and center.