started his musical career, it was Country music that somehow manifested itself through his being. I am sure Zephaniah will credit his spiritual upbringing as well as the circuitous circumstance and available opportunities to play music in NYC for maneuvering his career towards traditional Country. But whatever fates drove his train, he is now on the fast track towards becoming a star in the Country world.
“I’ve been influenced by so much music because I listen to quite a variety,” states OHora. “But as far as Country music artists, I’ve spent many hours studying Jimmie Rodgers, Ernest Tubb, Lefty Frizzell, Marty Robbins, and more recently Bobby Bare, Don Williams, and Merle Haggard.”
OHora has just released his second album, “Listening To The Music”. It upholds classic, old-school Country in the true tradition, but with the flavors of modern New York tossed in for kicks. “Listening To The Music” is a great album not only because of OHora’s songwriting skills, but the album hosts such big-time players as harmonica player Mickey Raphael (Willie Nelson) and guitarist Norm Hamlet (Merle Haggard).
The basic tracks to “Listening To The Music” were recorded in just 4 days at Bunker Studio in NY.
“I was very fortunate to work with such amazing musicians. There was never a moment I had forgotten that or taken that for granted. I think the fact that Mickey & Norm have played such prominent roles in Country music recording history is profound in and of itself. I suppose that means that my record is part of that continuing thread of recorded country music. And that thread is the spirit of country music, at least in my mind,” states OHora. “Every session is different in its own way. This one was unique because of the combination of musicians and friends involved. There were many high points. The only low point was when the sessions were done, and we looked at each other and said, "Damn! I don’t want this to end, man. We’ve been having so much fun!' ”
Aside from OHora’s tremendous guitar playing (both pedal steel and acoustic), the musicians on the album helped create the magical sound that brings us to another time and place in Country music. John Shannon, electric and acoustic guitars; Jon Graboff, pedal steel and resonator guitars; Roy Williams, piano, Wurlitzer; Jeff Hill, bass; Arthur Vint, drums and percussion and Neal Casal, rhythm electric and acoustic guitar, as well as a plethora of guests who all contributed to the album’s fantastic sound.
Country music is deep and profound in its own way. The tradition and history surrounding this genre should be honored and amplified. Even though OHora’s music is created in the modern world, its feel and vibe is all old school.
“People these days get caught up in the presentation or musical style of an album, especially in Country Music,” says OHora. “I just hope the actual songs themselves mean something more than all of that for someone else too. That’s what it’s all about for me.”