Date: Saturday, May 20, 4 p.m./Sunday, May 21, 12:30 p.m.
Venue: BMI Stage (Saturday)/Fitz’s Stage (Sunday)
Susto” is a Latin American term for a condition where the soul is separated from the body. The symptoms of susto include fear, anxiety and depression. SUSTO is also the name of a musical project from Charleston, South Carolina-based singer-songwriter Justin Osborne.
Plagued by a breakup, debt and family issues, Osborne used his own personal separation to put together a track list of folk rock that became SUSTO’s self-titled debut. Even though the debut featured a full band, SUSTO had no core lineup, and Osborne took to the road promoting the effort as a solo artist.
Things have changed greatly. These days, SUSTO tours the country as a full band in support of a new full-length called “& I’m Fine Today.” Mingling indie rock with alt. country, this effort showcases the evolution of SUSTO’s sound while maintaining Osborne’s candor as a lyricist.
Earning praise from both fans and critics, “& I’m Fine Today” has also allowed the band to tour extensively as a headliner and as an opener for bands such as The Head & The Heart, Band of Horses and The Lumineers.
“It feels like we’re a real band now, if that makes any sense,” Osborne said. “It’s been such a great year and a half. We had a great year last year, getting to play a lot of festivals for the first time and opening up for people. We did our first support stuff last year. Having the record come out has given us this whole new momentum.”
While things seem to be moving forward for the band, Osborne admits he still experiences pessimism from time to time. Touring and maintaining life back home has been a challenge, he says. However, his hometown friends have been very supportive of his ambitions.
“The whole process of experiencing susto, based on my understanding of the term, led to this incredible path that has been amazing and fun,” Osborne said. “I do not have anything to complain about. I’m living it all, and we’re having a great time on the road.”
The world can expect to hear a lot more from SUSTO. According to Osborne, the band has enough material for “two to three” more albums.
“We have material, and it keeps coming,” Osborne said. “We also have a record right now that we know that we can hang onto and play for a while. We might look at some time next year, but it depends on when we get time off from the road.”