Marty O’Reilly’s indefinable dream comes true in Kings Beach

Marty O’Reilly | Bobby Cochrane

Explaining Marty O’Reilly’s music is like describing a dream. It feels familiar, but at the same time uncharted. His songs sound bluesy but are not the blues, folky but are not folk, soulful but are not soul. His special voice is remarkably unique, his lyrics stark yet lush, the music gritty and electrified while melding beautifully 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 all of it real and imagined.

Once on stage, O’Reilly enters a trance. The music is born again as something new every night what his followers call the magic. From raw gospel to cinematic epics, heavy driving grooves to delicately arranged folk songs, he’ll leave the stage sweaty and out of breath, his audience in awe. It’s hard to describe and impossible to categorize. The details might slip away by morning, but the feeling remains.

O’Reilly performs on June 14 at 6 p.m. for the opening night of Music on the Beach at Kings Beach State Recreation Area. | martyoreilly.com