Sweet Life Revue opens for Two Man Gentlemen Band on Nov. 21!

by juno on November 16, 2009

Kathie Carney, Katie O'Connell, Roger Sorlein; photo: Lori Lenart

This Saturday we will be treated not only to the lively and diverting Two Man Gentlemen Band, but also to the sweet harmonies and skilled strumming of Sweet Life Revue. The formation of the Sweet Life Revue is a happy twist of fate. After being near neighbors in North Sandwich for many years, Katie O’Connell, Kathy Carney, and Roger Sorlien finally met musically at one of Ellen Carlson’s wonderful fiddle camps. It wasn’t long before they sidled away from the fiddlers that weekend to work on favorite folksongs with three-part vocal harmonies. The addition of Chris Buerk’s tenor vocals and smooth instrumentals has given the group a huge new range of possibilities. Rachel Sorlien is a semi-regular member of Sweet Life Revue and her fiddling is the tie that binds its different song styles together. Sweet Life Revue is striving to create a rich and tight blend of voices while maintaining the old time feel of neighbors and family coming together for an evening of song. For the better part of four years now they have been honing their craft and performing at local venues. Most of the songs you will hear on November 21st were arranged especially for this show.

Roger Sorlien (mandolin, guitar, vocals) has lived in North Sandwich  for the past 21 years. He has been playing guitar and singing for 30 years and has passed on his appreciation of music to his daughters. Roger runs a monthly coffee house with Katie O’Connell in the winter and schedules local musicians to play at Mocha Rizing coffee shop every Sunday in Sandwich year round. In keeping with his goal of providing  supportive venues for local musicians to perform, Roger was a board member of the Arts Council of Tamworth for six years and still supports ACT’s efforts in many ways.

Katie O’Connell (lead vocals, guitar, penny whistle) is as much of a native Sandwichian as a transplant can claim, having spent most of her life nestled in the hills of North Sandwich. Katie’s singing career has taken her from near infancy on her grandmother’s kitchen table, to church, school chorus, Boston College chorale, to performing at weddings, coffee houses, as a soloist with the Lakes Region Symphony Orchestra in 2007, and as a guest in several local bands. Happily settled among the original members of Sweet Life—Roger Sorlien and Kathy Carney—along with with new additions Rachel Sorlien and Chris Buerk, Katie calls the band’s eclectic style “folkeltigrass.” A friend described Katie’s voice as “smooth dark chocolate,” (probably a result of the sheer amount of chocolate consumed on a daily basis!) After 14 years as an English teacher, Katie is now happy to have her own business, Dragonfly Yoga Barn in North Sandwich, where Katie teaches yoga, runs retreats, and hosts open mic nights for local musicians.

Kathy Carney has been singing and playing folk, bluegrass and old-time music all her life. For the last few years she has been writing music as well. She has also raised a household of musical children out of her home in North Sandwich (including Sweet Life’s vocalist, Katie). She enjoyed being the children’s choir director for the Sandwich Federated Church for 12 years. When not performing with Sweet Life Revue and studying fiddle, she runs the “Nature Spirits of Christmas” craft shop from her home.

Chris Buerk (guitar, vocals, banjo) is a transplanted Californian who has been playing music since the age of eight. He played both piano and clarinet for ten years and dropped them like they were on fire when he picked up his first guitar. Chris is self-taught and has played as a soloist from Arizona to Alaska. When he first heard Sweet Life play he loved their style, and was thrilled when members of the band asked him to join them one evening at the Corner House Pub. It didn’t take long before Chris was a regular fixture of the Sweet Life crew, playing out at Mocha Rizing, Fiddleheads, the Corner House, and now at his first Arts Council show! When Chris isn’t playing guitar or banjo, he’s a pilot for a major U. S. airline, and he can sometimes be seen floating around the mountains of NH in his own little airplane.

Rachel Sorlien (fiddle) is living and working in the Boston area but still manages to come back home to play on the major Sweet Life Revue gigs. She is much appreciated as the guest fiddler for this Arts Council of Tamworth show.

You can buy tickets for this wonderful show at the door tonight, from 6:30 p.m. on, while supplies last.

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