“It’s been a long and arduous wait for many classic country fans sitting on the edge of their seats for the second record from country songsmith and crooner Zephaniah OHora.” – SAVING COUNTRY MUSIC
“OHora exudes the spirit of country’s unofficial motto – three chords and the truth.” – AMERICAN SONGWRITER
“The New Hampshire-raised, New York-based artist, who names Merle Haggard and Gram Parsons among his influences, is dispelling the notion that country music can’t come from the big city.” – WIDE OPEN COUNTRY
Zephaniah OHora makes real deal, time-honored, authentic country music. He’s a new voice in a rich lineage that encompasses legends like Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings and Buck Owens and stretches right through to contemporary artists like Colter Wall, Arlo McKinley and Charley Crockett. Yet Zephaniah reimagines a tried and true country music mythology via locale. His outstanding new album, ‘Listening To The Music,’ was written and recorded in Brooklyn, NY, proving that great country songs need not originate from genre hotbeds like Tennessee or Texas, but can indeed emerge from a distinctly urban, 21st century landscape. Produced by Neal Casal, who would tragically pass away not long after mixing was completed, the recording fuses timeless twang with modern sensibilities, speaking to the power of music to bind us to our past as it accompanies us into our future.
With Neal Casal enlisted to produce his second album, Zephaniah assembled an A-list cast of musicians, including John Lee Shannon, Jon Graboff, Roy Williams, Jeff Hill and Arthur Vint, as well as, special guests like Dori Freeman, Mickey Raphael from Willie Nelson’s band and Norm Hamlet, longtime member of Merle Haggard’s The Strangers. Throughout the recording, Zephaniah’s songwriting and arrangements crackle with electricity, moving beyond throwback revivalism to break fresh artistic ground. Songs like “Black & Blue,” “We Planned To Have It All” and “All American Singer” are buoyed by dazzling fretwork and soaring pedal steel as they filter the world through a classic country lens. In its sum, ‘Listening To The Music,’ bridges the considerable miles between Bakersfield and Brooklyn with a lush, intoxicating celebration of melody and memory.