SOUTH BERWICK — Rock My Soul, a secular, 25-member, roots-based choir and band well known for its “raise the rafters” style and soul-stirring harmonies, will perform a Sunday afternoon concert on July 21 in South Berwick.
The show starts at 4 p.m. and will take place at First Parish Federated Church, 150 Main St, South Berwick. Advance tickets are available online at www.projectmusicworks.org or by calling 207-450-8016. Tickets for the show are $15 for adults; kids 12 and under are admitted free of charge. Due to the group’s popularity, advance reservations are recommended, but tickets will also be available at the door if seats haven’t sold out.
Over the past 15 years, Rock My Soul has garnered an ever-increasing following and regularly performs to packed houses throughout New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maine. The group has received critical acclaim and has been featured on WMUR-TV’s NH Chronicle, WSCH TV’s 207, and MBPN. One of the group’s songs was also featured on a PBS documentary entitled "Freedom Songs: Music of the Civil Rights Movement."
Rock My Soul’s repertoire has the immediacy and soulfulness of the “golden age” American blues, gospel, and R&B sound it seeks to revive, and includes songs ranging from spirituals of the 1700s, to the music of contemporary favorites like The Wood Brothers and The Wailing Jennys, to the timeless soulfulness of Aretha Franklin.
For this special summer performance, the only one Rock My Soul will perform this year, the group will be debuting several songs, including stirring arrangements of Paul Simon’s “Gone at Last” and The War and Treaty’s “Love Like There’s No Tomorrow,” a rousing rendition of “Gospel Train,” and a moving version of Nina Simone’s “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free.” Along the way, other new songs and well-known favorites will also be featured.
“Most of us, especially in New England, have no idea how powerful an influence gospel music has on popular music,” says Dawn Boyer, director. “For instance, did you know rock ‘n roll was actually invented by a woman? Sister Rosetta Tharpe was a brilliant guitarist with her own sound, as well as the first gospel artist to cross over onto the Top 40 charts. Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis Presley were all influenced by her. There’s a lot of rich history in American music, and all rock ‘n roll, blues, hip hop, jazz, and other popular music is based on gospel. We like to show that close connection.”