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Oho | Gazebo

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Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock Pop: Brill Building Pop Moods: Mood: Upbeat
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by Oho

"All taken, another great step forward from a band who’s name is synonymous with adventure and unpredictability." -Expose.org
Genre: Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Ring in the Rightness
4:15 $0.99
2. Denial
3:19 $0.99
3. The One
4:35 $0.99
4. How Is Where We Go
4:49 $0.99
5. Third Hand Intelligence
6:13 $0.99
6. Plunge
3:57 $0.99
7. Baltimore
4:11 album only
8. Blood Brother
4:51 $0.99
9. Paleolithic Goddess Figurine
2:37 $0.99
10. Slough of Despond
4:28 $0.99
11. New Day
3:39 $0.99
12. Bleeding the Fifth
3:58 $0.99
13. Unique
4:59 $0.99
14. Limousine
3:56 $0.99
15. Out of Thin Air
4:21 $0.99
16. Ocean City Ditty
3:14 $0.99
17. Over, Under, Sideways, Down / It's a Small World
5:40 album only
18. Taylor's Lullaby
3:23 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Oho — Gazebo (OHOmusic OM067, 2018, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2018-08-06 (www.expose.org)

Oho has been making great music since the early 70s, seemingly swerving and dodging any typical styles and genres as they avoided the classification game, instead going for whatever direction their muse took them at any point in time. The three founding members O’Connor, Heck, and O’Sullivan (Hence their name OHO) have long left the band (although Mark O’Connor is a guest on one track here), multi-instrumentalist and singer Jay Graboski who had joined by the time of the band’s first album Okinawa in 1974 is still among the members, all through the years guiding the band through their continuous evolution. And still, on their latest album Gazebo, the band still eschews any kind of classification, other than in a very general sense. In addition to Graboski, the current members include Ray Jozwiak (vocals, keyboards, and accordion) and David Reeve (drums, vocals, keyboards and more), the latter having been with the band since 1976. In addition, no less than twenty guests have contributed to this track or that adding everything from trombone, French horn, saxes, bass, 12 string, pedal steel, percussion, additional vocals and more. The eighteen cuts herein are all listed as group compositions (with the exception of a couple interpretations) but one can sense that the diversity of what’s on offer here shows that ideas are hatched and developed by individual band members and from that point developed as a group, having a lot of fun along the way. Thus, the tunes represent more of what the members’ interests are instead of trying to shoehorn their sound into any genre. One can find a little bit of everything herein, though everything on offer is played and sung impeccably by a group of experienced musicians who probably don’t care if you like it or not, it’s what they do, and being independent of any record labels, it’s all at their prerogative and pleasure.

“How Is Where We Go” is a great tune, and a catchy one as well, and pretty much exemplifies OHO’s creation process: write and arrange a great tune with thoughtful lyrics, bring it to life with whatever is needed to perfect it (some pedal steel went a long way in this case, plus additional lead guitar, percussion and vocals), and you end up with a tune that meets a number of criteria of excellence and doesn’t really sound like anything you’ve heard before. The opener “Ring in the Rightness” is a tune that is just as vital, a funky and powerful rocker with a horn section featured. The band does a tasteful cover of Randy Newman’s “Baltimore,” perhaps with a bit more of a rock punch than the original, with some great sax soloing from guest Gene Meros, following that up with “Blood Brother,” a good-timey piano tune that sounds like something from another era, with a horn section featureds. “Denial” is another great tune with powerful arrangements and great lyrics and harmonies, built on an acoustic guitar roadbed with accordion and other arrangements supporting judiciously.

With a good 65-plus minutes of great new material, the band added a couple excellent tunes “Slough of Despond” and “Limousine” that were on their two previous albums Where Words Do Not Reach and Bricolage respectively, and “Unique” which was an instrumental tune on the former, now is re-featured with lyrics. “Ocean City Ditty” which was originally an overtly commercial sounding single released a few years back by the band, is now remixed with additional female vocals and a horn section, with an overdubbed DJ intro and outro. “Out of Thin Air” is an old OHO tune from the early 90s, but a classic that got a complete re-recording here, much improved from the original that opened the OHO album in 1990. “Bleeding the Fifth” is a downright heavy tune with guest lead vocals/guitars from Barry Lee Reichart , a thunderous bass line and overdubbed layers of screaming guitars throughout. The album’s pièce de résistance comes near the end, and who would have thought that anyone could combine The Yardbirds' “Over Under Sideways Down” with the famous Disney tune “It’s a Small World” and make it work, but OHO did it, and although this doesn’t sound much like either of the originals (though it tracks the Yardbirds a bit more closely), it’s a great interpretation of both tunes more or less superimposed on one another. Nothing short of brilliant. All taken, Gazebo is another great step forward from a band who’s name is synonymous with adventure and unpredictability.



to write a review

Jerry van Kooten (DPRD)

"Tracks that I like"
"Ring In the Rightness" & "Denial" really surprised me, psychedelic pop/rock with clever arrangements. I also liked the blues rock in "Baltimore" and the dark atmosphere of "Slough of Despond." "The excellently titled Paleolithic Goddess Figurine" is a very cleverly arranged song that sounds simple but adds so many things, creating a world class psychedelic pop song.

Martinka Zandijk-van Noorloos (iO pages #153)

"New and fresh."
"For lovers of the whimsical and unpredictable, 'Gazebo' features 80 minutes of music...a hefty set. The album is brimming with short, pointed numbers that, at first, sound deceptively simple; yet every song has either an original twist, strange angle and/or laudable composition. OHO are 40 year 'garage-prog' veterans who have presented us with a remarkable record/CD..... 'Gazebo' sounds new and fresh, like an excellent, hipster band debuting at Glastonbury and that, my friends, is one huge compliment." --Martinka Zandijk-van Noorloos (iO pages #153, Oktober 2018)

Steven Reid (Sea of Tranquility)

"Genre-shiftingingly accessible"
The essence of OHO's latest offering is a bright, breezy Pop sound that's draped in intricacy. Supported by a guest cadre of seasoned players, their sound is anything but obscure. The original trio are now long gone; but there's still a vintage feel to this album, a record that naturally moves from Pop to Prog , then from Americana to Jazz while remaining resolutely accessible. OHO vocalists deliver smooth, easy yet honest performances that open doors into the music on offer. This might be the dreamy '"The One", feeling like Bruce Hornsby accompanying Paul Simon, or the popping melancholy of "Ring In the Rightness," with vocals floating atop boldly-strummed guitars and 80's influenced choruses. Ray Jozwiak's keyboards and accordion build and maintain strong musical foundations across the 18 tracks revealed here, while J.P. Graboski's guitars and the drums (and much else) from David Reeve keep things flowing evenly from alpha to omega. There are plenty of highlights here, like the sharp turn of "Baltimore" and the jangle of "Out of Thin Air." Audients will want to revisit GAZEBO, music appropriate for basking in the sun as much as it is for contemplation of its interesting, lyrical content. Your investment of time and attention will surely be rewarded if you do.

Mark O’Connor

Where is How we Go is insinuating itself in my brain lately! Seriously though, nice track, catchy tune with a very effective arrangement.

Stan Hilborn (DJ CKWR, Ontario, Canada)

"Played 'Over....' last week on my show 2nd or 3rd track in, and tonight, 2nd track into the show will be 'Ring In'...Thank you for the music. 'Over Under..../Small World'....genius!". Great stuff!"