Great Peacock, The High Divers
Thu · September 21, 2017
Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm
This event is 18 and overhttp://www.georgiatheatre.com/event/1514636/
"I had this idea in my mind that I was going to try and join some kind of Latin American Leftist movement. I wanted to jump off a cliff," Osborne says. "Once I got there I immediately started hanging out with musicians and going to shows. I started showing them the songs from this project that was kind of just an idea in my head.
"They were like, 'man, don't throw away your passport, go home and continue to make music,'" he says. "I was encouraged by them to try again."
Osborne was already writing the songs for what would be SUSTO's 2014 self-titled debut when his producer Wolfgang Zimmerman introduced him to Johnny Delaware, a guitarist and songwriter who had moved to Charleston, South Carolina to make an album with the producer.
SUSTO is a Spanish word referring to a folk illness in Latin America that Osborne learned as anthropology student, meaning “when your soul is separated from your body,” and also roughly translates to a panic attack. For Osborne, the music of SUSTO was something he had to get out into the world.
SUSTO released their debut album independently and toured relentlessly to get the word out. They were an immediate hit in their hometown, packing venues, getting airplay at all the bars and even making a fan of Band of Horses' Ben Bridwell. "I got an e-mail from him, telling me he loved the record and wanted to meet with me and Johnny," he says. "That was actually the day I wrote my professor, and I said, ‘I'm not coming in.’"
The members of the live band that Osborne and Delaware recruited — Corey Campbell (guitar, keys, backing vocals), Jenna Desmond (bass), and Marshall Hudson (drums, percussion) contributed to SUSTO’s new album & I'm Fine Today, which will be released via Caroline. "We just wanted to go further. We started something with the first record, and we want to keep going in that direction," Osborne says of the album, which finds them taking the spacey country rock of their debut into the stratosphere, piling on layers of sighing keyboards, galloping rhythms and frayed, noisy guitar solos atop wistful melodies and lyrics that examine growing up and growing into yourself. “We put the first record out, and we worked hard, and it just feels like a good place to be,” he says, noting that while the first record focused on his own struggles, & I'm Fine Today is more concerned with looking at the world beyond the struggles in your head.
“I’ve learned to appreciate the fact that I just get to be here. It’s all perspective,” he says. “This album is about coming to terms with yourself and feeling okay with your place in the universe."
“To us, it’s just pop music with organic acoustic instruments,” says Andrew Nelson, who shares lead vocals and guitar duties with co-founder Blount Floyd. “The album has some fiddle, some pedal steel and a whole lot of acoustic guitar, which sounds like the traditional setup for a country band. But this isn’t a country record. It’s not really a folk record, either. It’s a pop/record... with folk tendencies.”
Nelson and Floyd first crossed paths in their early 20s, bonding instantly over a shared love of cheap beer and good Southern music. After logging several years together in a loud, Tennessee-based rock band, they split off to form their own project, swapping out the amplified swagger of their previous group for a straightforward sound anchored by acoustic guitars, anthemic melodies and two intertwined voices. Like an old-school harmony duo retuned for a new generation, they started off with a handful of classic influences -- the country croon of George Jones, the working class rock & roll of Bruce Springsteen, the heartland hum of Tom Petty -- and expanded their sound from there, turning Great Peacock into the sort of band that’s simultaneously rooted in tradition and headed toward new territory.
The music on Making Ghosts reflects Great Peacock’s ambition. Songs like “Tennessee” are swooning, sweeping tributes to the band’s homeland, while “Take Me To The Mountain” pushes the band toward anthemic territory, fueled by super-sized drums and a radio-ready melody. On “Arms,” the guys jump between haunting verses and big, Technicolor choruses, capping everything off with a screeching guitar solo. These peacocks know how to strut their stuff.
What’s in a name, by the way? In Great Peacock’s case, quite a bit.
“We initially thought it was just a funny name for a band,” Nelson admits, “but through the evolution of everything we’ve done, we’ve always been big and colorful. That’s why Blount jumps around onstage. That’s why I wear a suit jacket embroidered with feathers, which is basically a poor man’s nudie suit. We’ve embraced the image of the big peacock feathers, and we want to entertain you. We look that way, we think that way, and we sound that way, too.”
Riverlust, the group’s debut record, released fall of 2015, found it’s way onto many “best of” lists and was warmly received up and down the East Coast. The band has quickly gained a foothold in the Carolina music scene as well, starting to sell out various venues in Charleston, Beaufort and Hilton Head Island. “We’ve been touring non-stop” says Mitchell, “We feel so static whenever we’re home for more than a couple of days”.
The history of the band stretches all the way back to childhood for frontman/guitarist, Luke Mitchell, and bassist Kevin Early. “Kevin was just a little kid trying to learn how to ride a bike, and he ran straight into my Dad’s van”, laughs Luke, “That’s how Kevin and I started to find out about one another, and slowly we became friends”. Luke and Kevin played music together in various bands for years before The High Divers were formed. Fate slowly brought the rest of the band together when Mary Alice (keys/vocals) and Julius DeAngelis (drums) jumped into the mix. Mary Alice and Luke had been dating for years when they decided they needed to sing together. “Mary Alice was a classically trained pianist but never made a big deal of it. It was actually when we sang a song at her Grandmothers funeral that we had the epiphany that we just had to play music together. We sang in this really beautiful big church, and our voices sounded so nice together. It was a sad and beautiful moment for both of us.” Drummer, Julius DeAngelis, heard the news that Mitchell and the rest of the band were leaving for Charleston, and having been unhappy in another touring band for about a year, welcomed the change. “We all collectively were really tired of our hometown, and needed an original music scene to be a part of”, says DeAngelis. Recording sessions for “Riverlust” started immediately after the move, and Wolfgang Zimmerman was brought on to Produce, Engineer and Mix the album.
The Band is quickly approaching putting the final touches on their Sophomore release which is due out mid-September. “There’s been a little bit of a departure from any sort of “twang” on this record, says Mitchell “We don’t really want that “Southern Rock” moniker to follow us around forever, as we feel we’re so much more versatile than that label” . A band that would have felt equally as comfortable in the 60’s Detroit Motown scene as they would hanging out in Topanga Canyon in the early 70’s, The High Divers are creating songs that nod towards music of the past, while pushing ahead all the time.
215 N. Lumpkin St
Athens, GA, 30601