Number 33 on my Top 40 albums countdown is Eat a Pickle by O’2L. Now, I know what you are thinking. Something along the lines of, “I have never hear of O’2L in my entire life,” or “I have heard of O’2L, but I have never heard of this album.” Well, one or both of those is most likely true. In fact, I honestly have no idea how I ended up with this record. I knew of O’2L through the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (which I will talk more about later in the post) and I got this record for Christmas my freshman year of high school. But, where did it come from? This album is not on iTunes, you can’t find this album in music stores, you can’t find this album on Amazon, and this album is not on ebay. My Dad claims he got it from the O’2L website, but if that was true it is not currently available. Essentially, this album does not exist. Which is truly a shame because it is ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!!! It is a rock/jazz/electronica fusion record that consists of 17 tracks that include funky instrumentals, incredible vocal performances from Kelly Keeling and Tommy Farese, and some of the most interestingly arranged covers I have ever heard.
The personnel on this record includes the following:
Jane Mangini – Keyboards and Programming
Al Pitrelli – Guitars and Hammond Organ
John O’Reilly – percussion
Chris Altenhoff – Bass
Kelly Keeling – Vocals
Tommy Farese – Vocals
Jimmy Degrasso – percussion
As I mentioned above, if you are a Trans-Siberian Orchestra fan, the names Mangini, Pitrelli, O’Reilly, Altenhoff, and Farese should jump out at you. All of these musicians have been touring and recording musicians with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Basically, O’2L is a spin-off of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra: several returning cast members, but with a very different style.
Jane Mangini is the brains and the brawn behind O’2L. I usually describe her as the keyboardist I wish I was: a virtuosic performer with a distinct funk/blues style, but with the diversity to play any genre of music she wants – which is displayed on this and other O’2L records. She and Pitrelli were once a great power couple of music, but, alas, they are no longer together. However, both are still the life of Trans-Siberian Orchestra West live shows and are vibrant and active participants in the band’s recording and writing process.
Since, as I mentioned, this album effectively doesn’t exist, I had to upload some YouTube videos of my own to give you a sampling of their music in a quality higher than a live bootleg recording from a now-closed music hall in Cleveland. I wanted to give you a sense of the diversity and great arrangements on the record, so I have chosen one original instrumental, one original song with vocals, and one cover. I am in the process of uploading the entire record to my YouTube account, so if you love these tracks and are dying for more, visit https://www.youtube.com/user/matsuiforever25/videos
“Old Man Mo’s”
There you have it! Eat a Pickle by O’2L coming in at number 33 on the countdown! I know I keep saying I am going to catch up and keep not catching up, but I promise you that number 32 will be posted tomorrow, and we will be back on track! Thanks for reading and I hope you have an excellent day! Enjoy some great music!