Last year, Darby Wilcox & The Peep Show pedal steel player Steven Cathcart started a band with his wife, Mary Lyle, called The Old Earthquake. In September, the duo released their debut album, Loud Ones, and it was low-key one of the best albums to come out of the entire state of South Carolina last year. Today, The Old Earthquake is back again with the release of another full-length album, They Knew, But Didn’t Tell Us and Sold Stock.
The appeal of The Old Earthquake is that they don’t tie themselves to any particular genre of guitar music. Sure, there are definite Southern roots, and some of the songs have an Americana lean, like the opener, “Rich Men”, which sounds like something Shovels & Rope could have made. But then you have “Shelter”, which opens in the same wistful, minimalist indie sound used by artists like Sandy (Alex G) and Phoebe Bridgers. Just like on the previous album, those more experimental moments are where I find myself most intrigued.
Regardless, clearly a level of comfort with playing many different styles of music that can only come from being a damn good musician, which of course I’ve seen evidence of firsthand when Steven played Royal American with Darby Wilcox last year (twice).
Remind me to book this band for an Extra Chill event when this whole Coronavirus mess is cleaned up. Listen to They Knew, But Didn’t Tell Us and Sold Stock by The Old Earthquake below.