Moody’s-bound Marty O’Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra keeps St. Paddy’s party going

Suffering from the traditional post-Paddy’s Day blues? Moody’s Bistro Bar & Beats has the cure this weekend, with two nights of live music by Marty O’Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra, Friday and Saturday, March 20-21.

This Santa Cruz based trio has been plying its brand of soulful blues in and beyond Northern California since 2012. Front man and resonator guitarist O’Reilly described the band’s sound as “Delta blues with some Tom Waits; dark minor swing stuff, some folk influences.”

“Soul is sort of our medicine, and what we’re aiming for with music,” he said.

Marty O'Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra PhotoshootO’Reilly’s band mates are Chris Lynch (fiddle) and Jeff Kissel (upright bass). The trio occasionally brings a drummer along in Matt Goff.

The group formed in Santa Cruz, when O’Reilly was asked to prepare a showcase for a gig at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center. He had worked with Lynch at State beaches in the area, and asked him to join in on fiddle. An upright bass player was the logical next step; Lynch knew Kissel and recommended him, and Marty O’Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestra was born.

“After a year and a half, we were ready to quit our jobs,” O’Reilly said.

The group was busy in 2014, playing its first tours of the East Coast and the South, as well as its first summer jaunt overseas.

“We did a six week tour of the U.K., five weeks in England and Wales and a week in Ireland,” O’Reilly said. “It went crazy well, we were really well received. I sort of felt like we made as much of a name for ourselves in England in a week as we did in the better part of a year in the states.”

Future plans include return trips to all of these areas, already in the works.

“We’re crazy busy, we’re booked solid pretty much through September,” O’Reilly said. “We’re going to be on tour every month, and we’re hitting every region we’ve ever hit in the next five months. We’re at the point where we’re starting to see things grow.

“We’re just sort of excited to not be just planting seeds; we’re still doing that too, but to see things actually growing. “

The band is looking forward to an upcoming run with Brothers Comatose through the Northwest to Seattle, as well as its first extended tour of Scotland later in the year, O’Reilly said.

Aptly enough, Marty O’Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestra is also celebrating the one year anniversary of its debut album this week. “Pray for Rain” was released on March 17, 2014.

And as Californians know all too well, rain makes seeds grow.

– Josh Sweigert

  • Marty O’Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestra
    When: 8:30 pm, Friday and Saturday, March 20-21
    Where: Moody’s Bistro, Bar & Beats, Truckee
    Tickets: Free show

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