Keeping It Blue: Couple Shares Love Of Music

Keeping It Blue: Couple Shares Love Of Music

When Cheshire residents Corrie Folsom and Dan O’Keefe married, it was not in their thoughts that one day they would be on stage playing music together. But that’s exactly what happened.

O’Keefe has always been a musician. He’s played guitar and performed since high school. At some point, he also picked up the banjo and liked it enough to stay with it. He also played with a traditional bluegrass band, 81 South, for a number of years.

Folsom-O’Keefe started as a singer. In her college days, she was a member of the Boston Choral Society, and she sang with the Naugatuck Community Choir for more than a decade.

She did not play an instrument initially, but a few years into their marriage, she mentioned to her husband that she had always wanted to play the mandolin.

On her next birthday, Dan gifted her one.

In the beginning, Folsom-O’Keefe said, “Your fingers get sore by just playing it a minute a day.” She was adamant about learning though, and eager to build up the calluses required to play the instrument. So she practiced every day. Some days, it was for just one minute. Other times, it could be an hour and a half, or more.

Before Folsom-O’Keefe knew it, she was learning more chords and playing her mandolin alongside her husband. From there, the couple began venturing out to play and listen to bluegrass around the region. 

At one bluegrass festival, they met another musical couple. Marylin Toback-Reveley plays rhythm guitar and her husband Bill Reveley plays the fiddle.

“We really hit it off with them,” Folsom-O’Keefe said.

The couples “clicked” and decided to play together. 

Scott Freemantle, a former member of the band 81 South, also joined the group. He plays upright bass.

The ensemble, which came to be known as Sperry Creek, plays traditional bluegrass, folk, Appalachian-influenced pieces, and country.

As they prepare for a show, the group chooses from a variety of songs to cover. “That’s one thing when you hear our band, every song is a two-part if not a three-part harmony,” said Folsom-O’Keefe. The group had only played together a couple of times before the pandemic hit, and they had a long stretch of not seeing each other and playing together. But as the weather warmed, the musicians decided they could play outdoors in Dan and Corrie’s backyard.

“During that time period when everything was shut down, we felt it was the one thing we could do,” Folsom-O’Keefe said. 

It was during those outdoor sessions that the band found its moniker. There’s a small creek on the property adjacent to the couple’s backyard, and they live on Sperry Road. “It stuck,” said Folsom-O’Keefe.

As COVID restrictions eased over the summer, Sperry Creek performed at various venues, and capped the summer by playing the St. John’s Bluegrass Festival in North Guilford.

Visit the band’s Facebook page at

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