Being raised in the bucolic Sonoma Valley allows young people to be exposed to an amazing array of music. Some would say Sonoma has more great live music than a typical small town should have.
Marty O’Reilly was raised in the El Verano neighborhood. He attended Sonoma Meadow Oaks, the Waldorf School at the time, and later graduated from Summerfield High School in Sebastopol.
His family was interested in performing arts, and O’Reilly learned how to play the guitar at a tender age. His dream was to play music full time. O’Reilly has enjoyed a slow but steady climb as a professional musician, to the point of being included in the line-up of a major music festival.
This Sunday, May 27, O’Reilly plays the BottleRock Napa Valley – one of the biggest annual music festivals in the North Bay. The kid who played at Murphy’s Irish Pub just a few years ago will be playing on the same day as Lake Street Dive, Allen Stone, Halsey and the Revivalists.
“BottleRock really is the pinnacle of the live music seen in the North Bay,” says O’Reilly.
The festival will showcase 80 musical acts, on four main stages, over three days. The event is sold out, but there are those really cool after party gigs that are becoming so popular. O’Reilly’s after party is at the Reel Fish Shop and Grill, 401 Grove St. in Sonoma, at 8:30 p.m. Sunday. That show is surely one not to miss.
Marty O’Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestra are now based in Santa Cruz. They have two albums under their belt – “Pray for Rain” and a brand new release titled “Stereoscope.” The new 11 song album is Americana-based, but the band and the songs have been dipped in a bucket of Burning Man-meets-Delta Blues. Toss in a dose of Tom Waits and a pinch of Radiohead and a dash of musical reincarnation, and you have the stuff Marty O’Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestra are now dishing out to audiences.
Those audiences not only are the BottleRock ticket holders, but the thousands of Americans and Europeans who saw them on their recent tour of the U.S. and Northern Europe. The band traveled some 18,000 miles, going from gig to gig. Between a few stops, they drove 14 hours per day.
“It was super fun and exciting. Music rejuvenates you, and exhausts you,” O’Reilly says of life on the road. Despite the jams in Boston, sessions in Dublin and pints in London, the band is glad to return to Northern California – and very excited to play at BottleRock.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to have worked hard enough with my music to make my community in Sonoma proud,” O’Reilly says about performing at the festival.
As the front man to his four piece band, O’Reilly plays an electrified resonator guitar and sings. He is backed by violin, stand-up bass and drums. The band offers up a style of roots music that is at once traditional and psychedelic, simple and lush, swampy and sweet. When discussing the album “Stereoscope”, he said,
“We put our heart and soul into this album,” O’Reilly says about “Stereoscope. “It’s the album I’ve always wanted to make.”
The show at the Reel begins at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $12-$27, and can be purchased at thereelfishshop.com.
WHERE TO SEE MARTY AT BOTTLEROCK
Marty O'Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestra take the stage at BottleRock at 3 p.m. on the Lagunitas Stage from 3 to 3:45 p.m. on Sunday, May 27.