My Oh My is a three-woman, five-man band from Kansas City, Missouri, that plays a big, bearhugging blend of Americana, classic rock and folk. The band’s second release, the 2015 EP Wouldn’t Have It Any Other Way, delivers six weighty tracks chock full of full-throated choruses, jagged guitar, rowdy keys and tent-revival-sized anthems about life as it’s lived. Think the Band backing up Loudon Wainwright III, with Dylan looking on with a half-smile from the wings.
Going from 0 to 60 in four bars flat, My Oh My has eight human cylinders burning: Soulful, towering, and earnest frontman A.M. Merker leads the trio of women singers (Sarah Dolt, Melissa Geffert and Stephanie Gaume) in call-and-response hymns about growing up but not giving up. The boys in the band (keyboardist Grant Buell, guitarist Stephen Berry, bassist Jason Harper, and drummer Jacob Horpinjuk), bang out shimmering, country-tinged grooves and ballsy classic rock riffs with equal swagger.
Not all sunsets and mint juleps, Wouldn’t Have It Any Other Way is a mature autumn to My Oh My’s summery full-length debut, 2014’s Your Heart Not Mine, which the Pitch praised as “an album made for warm weather and drinking with the windows open.” This follow-up EP finds the band stepping away from whiskey-soaked folk and pushing full-bore into ambitious, anthemic rock territory that evokes the wilder side of Wilco. Aside from the poignant Merker solo “That’s All Right With Me,” there is nary an acoustic guitar on this record.
“Let’s Make Smoke” throws a fistful of riffs and proud middle finger at the idea of settling down as an adult, while the slinky burner “Marianne” looks back wistfully at an old flame. Not so nostalgic, “Thief” tears open an old scar in hopes of finding healing tissue somewhere underneath. “Parade” beckons us to blithely “cut a rug while we’ve still got legs,” while the title track is a by-turns seductive and piledriving sonic assault that affirms the album’s central thesis: This may not be the life we planned, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Wouldn’t Have It Any Other Way was recorded, engineered and mixed by Joel Nanos at Element Recording in Kansas City, Mo. It was mastered by Wes Martin at Firewheel Recording in Garland, Tex.
My Oh My was formed from the ashes of Free State Revival, a bar-hopping bluegrass band led by A.M. Merker with his cousin, Corbin Logan, plus Christin Kuchem-Logan, Al Underwood, Rob Ritter and Geremy Grote. That group put out a record, played three-hour sets in some of the seediest surburban dives the KC metro area has to offer, and broke up. Merker soon began settling down and having kids, but never quite lost the songwriting bug. Two years after Free State split, Merker was again calling on cousin Corbin and his wife Christin, and before long, the beginnings of My Oh My! formed in the Logans’ attic.
Guitar / Lead Vocals