A collaboration between former Sequoyah Prep School headmaster Justin Osborne and Charleston indie rocker Johnny Delaware, SUSTO takes a darker, rootsier direction than either of their résumés might suggest. The word “Susto,” according to the band’s own bio, is a term describing a “folk illness” — apt nomenclature for the kind of moss-drenched Americana in which the band wraps its songs.
Opening with “Black River Gospel,” SUSTO establishes its Southern gothic stance right away, dropping in snippets of various old-time hymn lyrics as the tale of indoctrination in the songs of faith unfolds: “We were up onstage like a sacrifice to God,” they sing, “that’s the price you pay when you grow up in the South.”
Like Flannery O’Connor, they’re not afraid to expose unpleasant truths. “Motorcycle Club” is a crisp and bitter hallucinatory diatribe that’s part Steve Earle, part Neil Young & Crazy Horse, with a chorus that declares, “There’s a demon in me in the Holy City.”
Osborne imports at least one song from his Sequoyah days with the acoustic night moves of “Friends, Lovers, Ex-Lovers, Whatever.” It’s an easygoing tune that’s a Todd Snider wisecrack or two away from becoming a classic, but as stories of loyalty and friendship go, it’s a catchy one with clear sing-along potential.
The closing “Smoking Outside” is a mellow exit for this introduction to the older, more mature singer-songwriter in both Osborne and Delaware, relying on cautionary lines like, “I tell her all the time, ‘You can rock ‘n’ roll any day’ / I tell her all the time, ‘Just keep it to once a day,’” and closing with a gorgeous instrumental coda worthy of Blue Rodeo or Chris Isaak; it doesn’t really end, it just fades gently into the distance as the performance continues, suggesting more to come from this promising new project.
Now Hiring in the Vista!
Hickory Tavern is opening mid-December and looking for bartenders, servers, hosts and kitchen staff. Apply in person: Click for details!
Going someplace cool this weekend?
Let The Backpacker help you go lightweight, comfortable and in style! Patagonia, Prana, Merrell, The North Face and more! Click for location, hours and more info.
Surreal Innovation Salon Now Open
Columbia’s newest total care spa is now taking appointments and offering $10 off services $25 or more for first time clients. Location, hours, and more info here.
Relaxation, Pain Management, and Stress Relief
Licensed massage therapist Allison Morris of AMR Massage offers 50% off your first session and every 5th session free of charge. Click here for location, hours, and more information.
Make Your Own Beer and Wine!
Come get started on your “liquid hobby” and help us celebrate our 46th year in the Columbia area. Bet Mar Liquid Hobby Shop: 736 St. Andrews Road.
A Re-Imagined Christmas Carol at Trustus
Watch as five actors perform all the characters of Charles Dickens’ classic story and create a live musical score in a production that had audiences and critics raving last year. Get your tickets here!
SEARCH FREE TIMES
Holiday Wish ListWhere to shop for gift ideas in Columbia this season: