Tag Archives: Connor Garvey

The Ballroom Thieves with The Suitcase Junket

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Port City Music Hall, Portland, Maine

I love the Ballroom Thieves and have seen them live many times. They’re definitely one of my favorite bands. I was under the weather, but decided to go to this show anyhow, because my friend Marian saw them a few days earlier in Camden and said they’d been particularly “on” and extra fun and very chatty with the crowd. Colin saved me a spot up front because I rushed down to Port City Music Hall after being honored by one of my favorite senior boys on my school’s basketball team at Teacher Appreciation Night.


Photo by Jeff Lamb Photography

I arrived just in time to see Matt Lorenz, touring solo as The Suitcase Junket, take the stage. I hadn’t seen Matt play for a few years (I saw him play with his band Rusty Belle at One Longfellow Square with Darlingside and Caitlin Canty back in 2013), and never as a solo act. He stole the show. His one-man-band is a powerhouse. Stomping on a kick drum, shaking a collection of shells, bones, and silverware, and playing a guitar he saved from a dumpster, Matt’s vintage sound, and his clear, lovely voice filled the room. He was charming and engaging with the obviously impressed crowd.

The Suitcase Junket is Matt Lorenz

The Ballroom Thieves took the stage after a quick break. They are super talented and sounded great, as always. They didn’t interact much with the crowd, which I missed, so this wasn’t their typical high energy show. My dear college friend, Ken Templeton, was in the crowd reviewing the show for Boston’s Red Line Roots, and I was a little worried that he wouldn’t love them like I do because they were so reserved, but he was quite impressed anyhow. Here’s Ken’s review.

Martin Earley

Callie Peters

The Ballroom Thieves

Devin Mauch and Callie

All of the guys from the Ghost of Paul Revere, Kevin Oates from Maine Youth Rock Orchestra, Connor Garvey, and Max García Conover were all in the house to support the band, and it was nice to witness the camaraderie and to catch up with all of them. Not the best Thieves’ show I’ve seen by far, but everyone is entitled to a mellow night here and there.





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Connor Garvey and Sorcha Cribben-Merrill

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Frontier, Brunswick Maine

I was so glad to finally get to see Maine’s own Connor Garvey. We’ve traveled in similar Maine music circles for ages, but our paths had somehow never crossed. Sorcha Cribben-Merrill is a friend in music. She’s played Swine & Stein Oktoberfest in my sweet little town in 2013 and 2014, but I’d also never seen her play a sit down show. This was a lovely Saturday night to really sit down and see both of these talented Maine musicians shine.

Connor and Sorcha played the whole night together, alternating between their songs. Connor joked that he’d wanted Sorcha to play some shows together for a long time, and so he just went ahead and booked a handful of dates as a duo. It forced them to finally sit down and work out parts for each other on their songs. Their harmonies were lovely. These two are clearly friends and it was great to watch them happily share the stage with their wide range of musical stylings.


Connor Garvey and Sorcha Cribben-Merrill


I really like Connor’s song “Willow.” His voice is crystal clear and it’s always refreshing to be able to hear all the words to a song. The lyrics to “Willow” resonate—“The more she showed/Her longing for a love not there/She wept for a love not there.” One of the best things about this night was hearing the stories behind a lot of the songs. Sorcha talked a lot about her grandfather, who was a country doctor in Oregon, and played “Carving,” which she wrote about his life, and “Spark,” which she wrote on an airplane on her way to his memorial.


Connor played a lovely song for us he played on his wedding day. Sorcha followed up with a song about unrequited love. The whole night was like sitting around a campfire in their backyard. It all felt wonderfully personal. Connor told us a funny story about how he accidentally booked a gig on St. Patrick’s Day (he’s a redhead with an Irish name, so avoids that), and played plucky “Irish Song,” which he wrote for the occasion.

Connor and Sorcha ip

Sorcha and Connor co-wrote a stunning song about the love they have for their grandparents and more specifically about all of the things their grandparents have passed on to them. You should really check out “All These Things.” I hope Sorcha and Connor record it together soon. What a treat to see you both play!



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