Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Those Bastard Souls and The Lonesome Organist 

At the Grog Shop on March 3

There's something almost magical about seeing indie rock being played in a dingy, smoke-filled room with a mediocre-sized crowd on a forgettable night. In perfect script, Those Bastard Souls, and specifically singer-guitarist David Shouse, played a heartfelt, melodic set. Mellow in nature with ephemeral glimpses of intensity, the music played by this Memphis band was reminiscent in structure of that of the late Jeff Buckley. Not surprisingly, guitarist Michael Tighe, a member of Buckley's band, plays on Those Bastard Souls' latest disc, Debt & Departure, although he wasn't present for this show.

After arriving onstage just past midnight and meandering/noodling around for a few minutes, the quartet, which also included an effective violinist, played "The Last Thing I Ever Wanted Was to Show Up and Blow Your Mind." With its subtle, mid-tempo pace and sly violin counterpunch, the syrupy, acoustic-driven song was a tear-in-your-beer ballad. Other standouts included "Up to You," on which the group came together with visceral intensity, as the violin darted in and out of the melody, and "Telegram," a song whose gentle melody contrasted with the rugged and weathered Shouse, who poured out his soul. While not exasperating, Those Bastard Souls' set ultimately lacked the sparkle or shine to turn an average performance into an unforgettable one. Then again, that might be the point when you're playing to a dingy, smoke-filled room with a mediocre-sized crowd.

Have you ever seen a one-man band in which the lone musician plays a drum, trumpet, and tambourine, and sings? Probably not, but the Lonesome Organist pulled it off -- he played a keyboard with one arm, the drums with another, and sang into a homemade mic/mouth harp (held together with duct tape). Surprisingly, this solo performer kicked out jams with a techno edge (thank God for a sampling keyboard) while beating away at his drum kit -- just think of Def Leppard's drummer -- and delivering heavily distorted vocals.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Latest in Livewire

More by John Benson

Read the Digital Print Issue

May 5, 2020

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays

© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation