Karen Somerville Sings at The Mainstay, Nov. 11

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Karen Somerville

Vocalist Karen Somerville returns to The Mainstay Saturday, November 11, at 7 p.m with a wide-ranging program featuring songs to honor our veterans and some soulful Motown memories.  Admission is $17 in advance and $20 at the door. Information and advance ticket sales are available at the Mainstay’s website. Reservations to pay at the door can be made by calling 410-639-9133.

Karen Somerville is a favorite on the Eastern Shore for her stylish arrangements, her grace and her ability to interpret a wide variety of material. For this Mainstay program she will be joined by Joe Holt on piano, Jeff Davis on bass and Mike McShane on drums as well as by her special guests (and compatriots in the trio Sombarkin), Lester Barrett, Jr., and Jerome McKinney.

Somerville was born the second oldest of four children in rural Kent County. She speaks proudly of the advantages of being reared in a small town; of close-knit families, and everyone looking out for the other, of church services filled with praise.

Her love for music began at home, and was cultivated in church. She says, “Both of my parents played instruments and sang; that was how we entertained each other at home.  It was our favorite pastime. My Pop Pop Emory played the accordion and harmonica though he called it a mouth-harp. He was awesome.  He would sing and play for us, and make the sound of the train whistle blowing, the dogs barking, and would be telling a story all at the same time.”

“When I was barely in first grade, my Mom taught us to sing harmony; I remember it like yesterday.  She would take us with her when she was asked to sing in churches around the County….  I don’t know how we had the nerve, except she was so confident that we could do it well.”

Somerville’s recordings include “Love Cures” and “The New Gospelites, Every Day Is Sunday.” Last year she was in New York City with the local cast of “Red Devil Moon,” the original musical by Robert Earl Price and Pam Ortiz, for a week’s worth of shows in the FringeNYC off-Broadway Festival.

This will be a special evening indeed. Karen Somerville doesn’t just sing, she inhabits each song, making every nuance and every phrase her own and when she sings with Lester and Jerome, the harmonies are stunning and powerful.

Note the 7 p.m. start time. For the darker, cooler fall and winter months, The Mainstay is experimenting with an earlier start time for their Saturday concerts.

The Mainstay (Home of Musical Magic) is the friendly informal storefront performing arts center on Rock Hall’s old time Main Street. It is committed to presenting local, regional and national level talent, at a reasonable price, in an almost perfect acoustic setting. Wine, beer, sodas, and snacks are available at the bar.

Upcoming Mainstay performances include:

November 12 The Mainstay at The Garfield: Cassie & Maggie

November 13 Joe Holt welcomes Philip Dutton

November 18 Dick Durham’s 75th: A Jazz Jam

November 20 Joe Holt welcomes Steve Abshire

November 27 Joe Holt welcomes Jeff Davis and Ray Anthony

December 2 Philip Dutton and The Alligators

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