New name, same great show

Published 7:07 am Sunday, July 26, 2015

Marty O'Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra

Marty O’Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra

Formerly known as the Marcusen Concert, this year’s Saturday night show, held during the Austin ArtWorks Festival, has perhaps a more fitting title.



The Dick Schindler Celebration Concert, which will once again take place at Marcusen Park, was named for the spirit of its eponymous Austinian and in keeping with the ArtWorks Festival tradition of emphatic and resounding celebration. Sponsored generously by Mayo Clinic Health Systems — Austin Albert Lea, the concert will feature an all-time high of four different bands, each of which brings its own distinctive sound to the park.

There will be no shortage of local representation this year, as Bissen Jacobsen Kroc and the Austin High School Jazz Band will each bring a set to the stage. If you’ve seen our jazz band in the last year or two, you’ll perhaps recall their astonishing renditions of “At Last,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and other standards.

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And if you haven’t, don’t take my word for it — ask your neighbor (or better yet, come see for yourself). Bissen Jacobsen Kroc never fails to inspire with their extensive range and easygoing stage presence, and if you haven’t seen them, again: ask your neighbor.

Also coming to the stage are two bands that may not be as familiar to the community. Alex Rossi & Root City hail from the twin cities area and routinely bring the house down at recurring gigs across the area. Rossi’s infectious style rouses the latent soul fan in even the most downtrodden, so even if you’re having a bad day on Aug. 22, you have no excuse but to show up and rock out with your friends.

Finally, there’s Marty O’Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra. Three years ago, three musicians set out to “seamlessly weave trance-based blues music, harkening back to John Lee Hooker and Howlin’ Wolf, with a drunken minor swing comparable to some of Tom Waits’ darker works.”

Alex Rossi & Root City

Alex Rossi & Root City

And they’ve certainly struck a musical nerve since, selling out venues across the West Coast and United Kingdom as well as touring internationally. In fact, O’Reilly and Co. will be fresh off their latest U.K. tour when they take the stage at Marcusen.

In addition to Marty himself on the electrified Resonator guitar and vocals, the band features native Austinian Chris Lynch on the fiddle, Jeff Kissell on upright bass, and Matt Goff on the drums. All three have been said to possess “raw musical excellence,” playing their instruments “to within an inch of their inanimate lives” (4000milestonashville). What’s not yet been said is that, when placed in the hands of these musicians, the inanimate rises to animation in the purest sense of the word — there is spirit in these instruments and there are old souls in these voices. But maybe, again, you shouldn’t take my word for it — ask NPR: “A a band true to its name: soulful.”

The Dick Schindler Celebration Concert at 7 p.m. on Aug. 22. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids 12 and under. Advance tickets are available at the ArtWorks Center or online at

Don’t forget to bring your favorite blanket or lawn chair.