Coffee Shop Confessional with Rorie Kelly


Photo Credit: Tiger Darson

By: Moe Tompkins

I had the opportunity to grab a cup of coffee with acoustic rocker, Rorie Kelly. If you haven’t heard of Rorie, well, you’re going to. Originally from Bayville, Rorie recently moved back to Long Island from Brooklyn, citing the amount of work she was getting here, and more importantly the warmth and familiar nature of the creative community as two huge factors in that decision. Rorie is what we-in-the-industry call “a working musician”. Sounds like an oxymoron, right? But she’s doing it! But if being a working musician were easy, we’d all do it.

Most describe Rorie as sounding like Janice Joplin or Alanis Morisette. Her raw, soulful vocals are the perfect conduit to carry her particularly personal style of song-writing. Anybody looking for music with meaning, look no further. Even though her music generally carries a message, it doesn’t come off as preachy or lofty – which for me anyway, is a huge plus. There are too many acoustic guitar players out there that are just way too….I digress. Lately she derives her inspiration from a desire to connect. Her aim these days is to write inspirational music; music less about her personal experience and more so about the general human one – a sort of soundtrack of your life. And it sounds like she’s pretty much hitting the nail on the head. Check out her single If you Teach a bird to Sing, It. Is. Everything.

On a lighter, more personal note, for anybody who has ever wondered, Rorie is a really cool person to hang with. A self-described sci-fi geek, she particularly enjoys watching Star Trek when she has the time. Her musical tastes include; Ohio indie band, Red, Wanting Blue, and Australian musician, Kate Miller Heidke. Her advice to aspiring singers and songwriters? I’m paraphrasing but…

Keep doing it if you’re serious, but be serious. When we’re young, adults tell us that we can be anything, and then tell us to be ‘reasonable’ when we’re applying for college programs. If you have a dream that is that important to you, go for it, because nobody is responsible for your happiness but you.

Well said, Rorie.

Rorie Kelly will  be performing at SPARKBOOM‘s 2014 KICKOFF EVENT – “Beards, Bards and BOOM” on Saturday, June 21st, at The Walt Whitman Birthplace. For more info, visit RSVP to our FB event here.

Visit Rorie at and

Check out this video:


MImageoe Tompkins, a native of Islip, New York, holds a double degree in jazz studies and music education from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). Upon acceptance to the College-Conservatory of Music he began simultaneous study both with Ray Charles Orchestra alumnus Marc Fields, and Tim Anderson of the Dayton Philharmonic. For several years he worked as a highly-in-demand trombonist on the Cincinnati scene and beyond playing everything from salsa, to reggae, neo-brass band sharing the stage with the likes of Streetlight Manifesto, The Aggrolites, and Foxy Shazam, just to name a few. He currently resides in Islip, working with the Long Island Arts Alliance and finally pursuing his own musical vision with his original group Slang ( When not making music, Moe can typically be found enjoying horror movies, fusion jazz, or White Castle.

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