I’ve had my eye on Marty O’Reilly for a few years now, and am so happy to see him gaining ground…inch by inch. When he performed on an Outside Lands side stage a few years back, I thought that would be it: goodbye, Mr. O’Reilly–never to perform a small juke joint again. Sadly, my premonition didn’t come to bear, but last year he released his best work yet, Pray for Rain. The album is full-bodied and made with intention; is well engineered, mixed and mastered; and captures the soul (so uniquely American, and innately Californian) hidden in those Santa Cruz mountains. While I wish him many a sold-out Old Mississippi opera house in his future, I’ll selfishly revel in his local intimacy a little while longer.