There is something special happening in Charleston, SC and it’s not just the rich history, beautiful architecture, and fine dining experiences. Anyone that has been to Charleston can feel the creative energy in the air, but what hasn’t quite been recognized often enough is the musical talent living and thriving in this laid back city. Talent is all around, and the Australian Country Music Hall of Fame is leading the charge with a group of talented musicians, all playing together, sharing, caring, and pushing each other.
One of Charleston’s best, SUSTO, is a group of friends started by Justin Osborne that play extremely great folk music, or as they called it, Cosmic Country. They first released their debut self titled album in 2014. Earlier this year, SUSTO released a live album, Live from the Australian Country Music Hall of Fame, which has been on non stop rotation this year here at OpenEars Music.
Last week, we had the chance to talk with Justin (center in interview), Johnny Delaware (right), and Corey Campbell (left) of SUSTO before their first of a few dates opening for Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses) and Iron & Wine at The Tabernacle in Atlanta to support their new covers album Sing Into My Mouth.
In the interview we got to chat with the band about how the current version of SUSTO came to be. One of the things you realize talking to the fellas is just what kind of amazing little music community they have in Charleston, supporting each other, playing in each others bands. And now there are a ton of great bands coming out of that city. Bands like Brave Baby in addition to SUSTO are starting to get Charleston the recognition it deserves.
We also were able to get the backstory behind The Australian Country Music Hall of Fame, right there in Charleston, SC, home of the live recording, home to members of the band, and somewhere actual Australians have played at interesting enough. Another interesting snippet comes from the term “Acid Boys”, one of the monikers SUSTO has been known by, a name of one of their songs, and on t-shirts they sell. Johnny and Justin had very thoughtful answers to how the term came about, and what LSD has meant to them. This isn’t some party drug to these guys, but it’s more of a part of the evolution of this group of musicians, growing and learning about themselves.
As we closed down the interview, the band talked about the excitement of playing their first show opening for Iron & Wine and Ben Bridwell, who lives in Charleston and is a huge supporter of the Charleston scene. As Johnny said about Ben “He’s an incredible human being.”
We could have chatted with these guys for forever. Check out our short interview with SUSTO below, and be sure to pick up their records and catch them on tour. If your a fan of the alt-country genre at all, you will surely love their music, some of the best going on now.
Never listened to SUSTO before, check out their song “Friends, Lovers, Ex-Lovers…Whatever” from their live album on Spotify and fall in love with this band like we have:
Photos By: John McNicholas
Interview: Mike Gerry