Marty O’Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestra’s music is a combination of sounds and textures that can’t be exactly described, insuring a taste of originality that can be hard to find in the current musical landscape. The elements of soul, blues and folk meld seamlessly into a powerful and heady concoction of musical mojo that is perfect for sipping like fine whiskey. The minimalist arrangements as well as the sparse instrumentation allow space in the music and gives articulation to the individual notes. O’Reilly’s voice has a bite not dissimilar to old blues legends like Howlin Wolf, this is laid over a delicate musical foundation that gives it striking contrast.
Their live performance is the currency they use to spread the musical message here and in the UK and their touring schedule is seemingly endless. O’Reilly, together with Chris Lynch's violin, Matt Goff's percussion and Ben Berry's upright bass can be nimble as they can go from maximum foot-stomping groove, to gospel and blues infused romps as well as pull a delicate and magical folk song from their hat. Formed in Santa Cruz California in 2012, these friends have chemistry that is visceral, intuitive and arresting. For more information go to http://www.martyoreilly.com/
The sound recording on videos such as the Humboldt sessions is outstanding, what is the process that you use to capture that?
Marty O’Reilly: Working with the Humboldt live sessions, we really liked the feel of what (videographer) Chuck Johnson is doing because it’s a very simple and organic single camera and a single shot. I thought it was a cool way to be artistic and to capture the moment as it occurred, we just set a couple of microphones out and the audio mixing was done in 10-15 minutes.
How do the audiences in the United Kingdom differ from the United States?
Marty O’Reilly: It’s tough to say. A lot of the audiences are quiet and respectable, the crowds can be older and they’re really attentive, they enjoy the show but you might not ever hear from them again. It’s easy to say that’s what crowds are like in the United Kingdom but I don’t know if I can say that I have a holistic understanding of the music scene there. I start to wonder if maybe I’ve been woven into one just facet of it. Maybe these qualities aren’t inherently British; maybe they’re just inherent in the scene that I’ve been integrated in out there. On the other hand, in Ireland it’s the polar opposite, the people are crazy, it’s exactly what I hoped it would be, it’s always a party and wild and people love it and dance and sing along but can’t remember the name of the band the next morning. (Laughs)
You tour constantly, what are the good things of traveling so much.
My favorite part about it is you’re seeing all these places not just as a tourist but you’re more integrated because you are working with people wherever you go. You’re meeting locals and communicating with them. When you work with some one you learn some fundamental things about them very quickly. I think my favorite part is connecting with communities wherever we go.
When you guys travel here and in the UK what do you actually travel in?
One of two large blue vans. (Laughs) When we travel in the US our van is named Babe the Blue Ox and it belongs to Natasha our tour manager, when we travel in the UK, we travel in a large blue van named Margaret. They’re very different vans, Margaret is more like a sprinter, larger and much more room, whereas the US it’s smaller we’re just buried in our own stuff.
Editors Note: This inaugural 7 questions segment was marred by technical recording difficulties and there are only four questions. This means you are entitled to an additional three questions, redeemable at any of Marty’s shows or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
March 1st: Vintage Wine Bar, Redding, CA: Tickets
March 2nd: Old St. Francis School, Bend, OR*
March 3rd: Sunset Tavern, Seattle, WA*: Tickets
March 4th: House Concert, Portland, OR: Tickets
March 5th: Private Event
March 6: Fort George Brewery, Astoria, OR
March 8th: Siren's Song Tavern, Eureka, CA* Tickets
March 17th: Freight & Salvage, Berkeley, CA: Tickets
April 2nd: Taste of Yountville (Solo busking Set), Yountville, CA
April 15th: The Mystic Theater, Petaluma, CA
April 16th: Fernwood Resort, Big Sur, CA
April 30th: Do It Ourselves Festival, Boulder Creek, CA
May 21st: River Roots Festival, Madison, IN
May 24th: Rockwood Music Hall, New York, NY
May 28: Stimmen Festival, Ettiswil, Switzerland
June 9th: Norwich Arts Centre, Norwich, UK
June 10th: St. Peter's By The Waterfront, Ipswich, UK
June 11th: The Convent, Stroud, UK
June 12th: Scandinavian Seamen's Church, Liverpool, UK
June 13th: The Castle Hotel, Manchester, UK
June 14th: Sofar Sounds, London, UK
June 15th: The Green Note, London (Camden), UK
June 16th: Fat Lil's, Witney, UK
June 17th: Swiss Cottage Sessions, Twyford, UK
June 18th: The Square Tower, Portsmouth, UK
June 19th: Al Festo, The Sun Inn, Dedham, UK