Marty O’Reilly with Calvin Arsenia and Blair Borax
September 8 @ 7:00 pm$20
$20 adv tic / $25 at door.
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.
“I started playing music as medicine for myself to feel good and digest some melancholy,” Marty leaves off. “Over time, I realized if music makes me feel good, the people around me who become a part of it will feel good too. It connects us on the same wavelength. I hope to give the world something real and refreshing.
Calvin Arsenia is a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist hailing from Kansas City, Missouri. He first gained widespread recognition for his soulful vocals and virtuosic classical harp playing, which he often incorporates into his live performances. In addition to his solo work, Arsenia has collaborated with a variety of artists across genres and has performed at numerous festivals and venues around the world. He is known for his heartfelt and introspective lyrics, which often touch on themes of love, loss, and personal growth. Arsenia’s music has been described as a blend of folk, pop, and R&B, and he continues use his gift of music to draw bridges between communities separated by race, class, gender, or religion.
Portland-based singer-songwriter Blair Borax writes tender folk-pop songs to make you feel less alone. With vocal stylings reminiscent of 1920s jazz, songwriting that is unafraid to tackle the taboo, and pop melodies that stay with you for days, Blair has something special to offer. She conjures a vocal charm somewhere in between Regina Spektor and First Aid Kit, wordsmithing inspired by folk songwriting greats like John Prine, and tender vulnerability akin to Haley Heynderickx and Big Thief’s Adrienne Lenker.After releasing her debut album “Keep Walking” in June 2022, she is planning to release her sophomore record, “Tender Lately” this year. “With rich lyrics and a voice like molasses,” poet Juniper Klatt says, “Blair Borax makes music that moves you to the heart of being human, offers you a warm cup of tea, and invites you to stay a while.”