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Justin Osborne And BJ Barham Live At Charleston Library Society

The Charleston Library Society was established in 1748, making it the oldest library in Charleston, and last night it was transformed into a beautiful concert hall, with Justin Osborne of SUSTO and BJ Barham of American Aquarium enchanting the room with their guitars. Most of the people in the crowd had never been to the Charleston Library Society before, but I think I can safely say that we were all impressed by both the building and the music. It was about as old school as you can get, and every sound echoed throughout the room. That means even the faintest whisper or beer can opening could be heard by everyone present, and more importantly that the music sounded amazing.

Justin Osborne Susto
Photo: @driesipoo of @wavcreative

Justin Osborne
First up was Justin Osborne of SUSTO, playing the only hometown show on his Puddin’ Swamp ’87 World Tour. He played around ten SUSTO songs, the first part acoustic and then he picked up an electric guitar for the rest. When he played “County Line” he called up fellow musician and SUSTO band-mate Johnny Delaware, who was hanging out in back drinking beer, to sing harmonies for him. Quite a few of the songs Justin played were unreleased, coming from the new SUSTO album that is currently in the works. That album probably tops my list of anticipated albums, if you don’t count Brand New’s fifth album, but that’s beside the point. Justin killed it and if you have a chance to go to any of the shows on his solo tour then you definitely should. I’ve included the rest of the tour dates below. Dates with a * next to them are with BJ Barham of American Aquarium.

*8/22 Jacksonville FL
Jack Rabbits
*8/23 Orlando FL
Will’s Pub
*8/24 Tallahassee FL
Fifth and Thomas
*8/25 Atlanta GA
City Winery Atlanta
*8/26 Waverly AL
8/27 Athens GA (FULL BAND)
Wildwood Revival 2016
8/28 Lexington KY
Willie’s Locally Known
*8/29 Newport KY
The Southgate House Revival
*8/30 Asheville NC
The Grey Eagle
*8/31 Nashville TN
City Winery Nashville
*9/01 Charlotte NC
Visulite Theatre

Photo: @driesipoo of @wavcreative

BJ Barham
Next up was BJ Barham of American Aquarium, who played his new solo album Rockingham in its entirety, and then he played a few American Aquarium songs to finish out the night. In addition to the music, BJ also gave us background on each of the songs, which were mostly about growing up in the South, his family, and various things that had an impact on him along the way. The whole performance was good, but a standout track for me was “Madeline”, which is set up as a letter that he wrote to his future daughter. He also talked about how Rockingham was inspired by the Paris attacks last November, as he was about 45 minutes away when it happened, and it sent him into a spiral of thoughts about his home and the people he loves. After that he started writing, and Rockingham was the result. It’s a great album with a lot of emotional impact. I’ve included a Spotify stream of the album below for those of you who haven’t heard it yet.

BJ Barham – Rockingham