Katie O’Connell has been singing since she was two years old. An old musical soul, she has carted her penny whistles, Irish flute, and djembe from the Pubs of Ireland to New England. Roger Sorlien plays a variety of instruments including guitar, Mandolin and Mandola. Now what is the difference between a Mandolin and a Mandola? Can someone tell me? This trio is a labor of love for him. As well as being a consummate musician he is also a marketing machine, which makes my life a whole lot easier! Thank you Roger.
Last year Samantha made her solo performance debut in The Back Room. It meant a lot to me that they chose our venue for such a milestone in a young musicians life. It reminded me of why The Back Room was created and what the influences were for me.
Club Passim in Harvard Square, Cambridge was my inspirational starting point. In 1958 another young singer/songwriter played her first performance there. At the time it was called Club 47, and changed its name in the 60’s. The name of that young woman was Joan Baez. Bob Dylan played Club 47 for free just to say he had played there. Bonnie Raitt chose to attend college in Cambridge to be near that particular club. In the sixties there was a real scene going on with small live music venues packed every night, and young singer/songwriters honing their craft in front of a live audience before picking up record contracts and becoming rich and famous. I know we can’t exactly compare The Back Room to the heyday of Club Passim, although I don’t hesitate to compare Sam and actually several singer/songwriters who play our venue, to some of the famous ones. For every one who becomes a household name there are hundreds of equally talented musicians who never win the lottery of fame and fortune. It doesn’t make them less good.
A youngster called Bruce Springsteen was rejected by Club 47, I guess they thought he was just not good enough. So if he is still around, I want to reach out to him and tell him, there is always a place for him at The Back Room :)