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 Marty O’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, 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. Artistic touchstones for the group include John Lee Hooker, Howlin’ Wolf, the darkly cathartic oeuvre of Tom Waits, and the experimental arrangements of Radiohead.
“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.”
“A band true to its name:
[Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.]