O’Reilly makes you see through your ears
— FACE Magazine

Bassist Kevin O’Reilly has been pushing the boundaries and technique of his instrument for over three decades. His music has explored the outer fringes of progressive, punk and funk rock, but always remains fundamentally groove oriented.  As a solo artist,  O’Reilly has wanted to make music that engages listeners lyrically and “would make people (want to) move..”

A consistent feature in O’ Reilly’s work has been his bass being a driving force, front and center - even when his playing is deliberately in the background. On his past CD’s, his side project the Shellback Brigade, and on his current CD, he has surrounded himself with a cast of musicians that allow him to inhabit many planes of music making all at once - but also is able to shake things up and adjust textures and timings in ways that heighten the effect of this powerful, engaging and unmistakably enjoyable music.

Based in the Northeastern U.S., Kevin O’Reilly has been active as an instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, session player and recording engineer in a wide variety of genres. He started in punk, spent a number of rewarding decades in rock, created an extensive catalog of works for solo bass and was a member of The Dave Rowe Trio, a successful folk group.


Kevin’s potent mixture of forceful riffs and intelligent hooks while in the Portland, Maine based Love Cactus caught the attention of The Portland Press Herald who called his song Divebomber “...one of the catchiest songs on the local scene...” Other notable projects and collaborators include recordings and performances with ex-Steeplejack member and D.C.-based Andy Sullivan on his Dirty Bomb CD King of the Hill.

One of his earliest experimental recording projects, Ayatollah Mike (1990) produced with Seth Warner, was included in the soundtrack of Dorm, the first film produced by Efram Potelle and Kyle Rankin of Newborn Pictures (The Battle of Shaker Heights).

As a soloist and band leader Kevin has three commercially available recordings, Acidron (1997), The View From Left Field (2001), and The Shellback Brigade project The Pollywog’s Lament (2011). These are available at iTunes and CD Baby

Photographs by reneroyphoto.com