Explaining Marty O’Reilly’s music is like describing a dream. It feels familiar, but at the same time unchartered. His songs sound bluesy but not blues, folk but not folk, soulful but not soul. Marty’s voice is beautiful and unique, his lyrics stark yet lush over gritty electrified guitar, melding beautifully into genre-defying music within the vast definitions of Americana. One can hear an urgency and complexity in the songs, expressing something elemental and perhaps contradictory: love and anger, joy and pain, real and imagined.
The live performance is at the core of Marty’s projects. On stage, whether accompanied by a band, or alone, he enters a trance and the music is born again as something new every night. It’s what his followers call “magic”. He goes from raw gospel blues to cinematic epics, from heavy driving grooves to delicately arranged folk songs. Marty leaves the stage out of breath and sweaty, his audience in awe. It's hard to describe, impossible to categorize. Yet people who know the music will try to explain it to you, just as you might struggle to explain a dream in the morning. The details might slip away as you recount them, but the feeling remains.