Marty O'Reilly & The Old Soul Orchestra

Marty O'Reilly & The Old Soul Orchestra

Emily Afton

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Tickets at the door $21

Tickets at the Door

This event is all ages

Marty O'Reilly & The Old Soul Orchestra
Marty O'Reilly & The Old Soul Orchestra
Just when you think American roots music should be relegated to the dusty confines of a purist’s museum it will surprise you with a paradigm shift. Take MartyO’Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra— passing through tradition, the quartet stumbled upon innovation, proving that old souls can be creatively fresh.

The Santa Cruz, California-based quartet’s latest, Stereoscope, out February 9, 2018, marks an evolutionary leap in a journey of artistic identity, songwriting maturity, band friendship and fiery group synergy. Here, Marty O’Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra homed in on their signature cosmic roots aesthetic, brimming with cinematic songcraft, impressionistic lyrics, clever arrangements, telepathic ensemble interplay, and soulfully world-weary vocals. Imagine the delta blues reprised by psychedelic indie rockers.

“My whole career has been based on better understanding what’s real and important in artistry, and what is bull#$%,” says Marty. “When you weed out all the excess, the little thing that is left is you.”

Marty O’Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra features Marty on electrified resonator guitar and vocals, Chris Lynch on violin and keys, Ben Berry on upright bass, and Matt Goff on drums and percussion. The group specializes in roots music with evocative lyrics that are conceptually cryptic, relying on imagery and symbols to convey emotion. Artistic touchstones for the group include John Lee Hooker, Howlin’ Wolf, the darkly cathartic oeuvre of Tom Waits, and the experimental arrangements of Radiohead.

The album represents the maturation of artists shedding hero worship and embracing the creativity within. These new frontiers are characterized by a heartfelt purity in Marty’s vocals, the tracks’ unique and richly expressive chord structures and progressions, a shift in narrative perspectives to a more observational bend, and emotionally dynamic arrangements that are beautifully arresting, often beginning with sparse simplicity and then reaching lush and fully orchestrated climaxes with sensitive group interplay.

The 11-song album opens with “Firmament,” which eases in with delicately eerie ambience and sparse musical accompaniment, revealing all the soulful nuances and inflections in Marty’s voice. The song soars forward with an impactful arrangement as the full band joins in with rich and varied musicality, including a dazzling drum and percussive break and a violin solo as brilliantly fractured as a cubist painting. The album’s third track, the haunting “Ghost,” is a swampy ambient blues that uses the phenomena of sleep paralysis as an intriguing metaphor for vulnerability. The standout album single “Off and On Again” offers sweet yearning for a détente after a lover’s quarrel. Other album highlights include a rendition of Skip James’ blues classic “Hard Time Killing Floor” with chillingly beautiful new music to accompany the haunting traditional lyrics, and the three stirring, but challenging, instrumentally-driven songs that conclude the album and recall fringe jazz guitarist’s Bill Frisell’s evocations of dustbowl Americana with futuristic ambience.

Stereoscope is no doubt a milestone entry for Marty O’Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra, offering forth the band’s most assured and mature release to date. “We put our heart and soul into this album,” shares Marty. “It’s the album I’ve always wanted to make— one that ten years later I can still be proud of. Making it has made me feel whole, and brought me a lot of joy.”
Emily Afton
Emily Afton
Emily Afton’s voice is transporting. Powerful, and emotive, Emily delivers her soul to you in the form of nostalgic indie-pop songs - with dark ribbons of folk and electronica interwoven. Solo or with her band, Afton aims to snatch your heart with her live performance playing haunting vocal-driven narratives in the style of Fiona Apple followed by heavy synths and uptempo dance tracks that can turn an aloof audience dancing. Last fall one of her performances did just this for Third Eye Blind lead singer Stephan Jenkins, who promptly asked her to join their U.S. tour as the opening band. An inspired Afton quickly returned home to finish her debut full-length album.

ARCHETYPE [album], released in September 2016, and has been called an indie-pop explosion from "an artist who is clearly on an ascent" (Pure Volume). The episodic debut LP, co-produced by David Earl and Lila Rose reveals a new edge and depth to the once sweet singer-songwriter's music. ARCHETYPE laces together stories of an artist discovering both the sonic and emotional worlds and ghosts that exist within us all.

Emily and her band have spent the bulk of 2017 touring ARCHETYPE across the U.S., while beginning the clockwork for their next musical release (coming 2018).
Venue Information:
Sweetwater Music Hall
19 Corte Madera Ave.
Mill Valley, CA, 94941
http://www.sweetwatermusichall.com/