Photos + Words By Andy DelGiudice
He’s My Brother She’s My Sister, Caught A Ghost, and the Song Preservation Society ended their tour with a twang, or a thwack, at the Black Cat.
The Song Preservation Society (SPS) is a 3 person society of acoustic guitarists/vocalists, whose vocal harmonies hark back to the glory days of Simon & Garfunkel or Crosby, Stills and Nash when they could get things together. Their stage presence, vocal performance, and acoustic melodies did a surprising good job of filling the upstairs of a crowded Black Cat, which made for a somewhat unique experience on the legendary DC punk stage.
Caught A Ghost followed and plugged in for a high energy second set designed to bring the crowd up to speed for the much anticipated headliner, He’s My Brother She’s My Sister (HMBSMS from here on out). Caught A Ghost is fronted by the most handsome and multi-talented Jesse Nolan, who worked triple duty on vocals, guitar, and supplemental drum SMASHING. I’ve never seen anyone THWACK a drum as hard as Jesse did on Saturday night. Tessa Thompson accompanies Jesse on vocal duties and provides an elegant contrast to the THWACKING.
There wasn’t nearly as much drum thwacking during HMBSMS headlining set, but their percussion section was as equally cool and unique. I’ve never before imagined a musician tap dancing on a bass drum while simultaneously pounding out the rhythmic cadence on smaller drums and cymbals, but Lauren Brown of HMBSMS envisioned this previously unknown dream and executes perfectly. I realize this description makes next to no sense, so please feel free to refer to the photographs for a better understanding of what’s going on.
The remaining cast of musicians that make up HMBSMS coalesce for a wonderful rockabilly revival sound, complete with slide guitar, standup bass and dueling vocal harmonies. The lead singers, Rob and Rachel Kolar (brother and sister), sound like the product of eclectic folk influences. Rachel appeared to have a bit of a baby bump and lost a considerable amount of her voice halfway through the set only to still soldier on and help HMBSMS deliver a wonderful end to this 17 stop US tour. At one point, she even invited an audience member on stage to take care of vocal duties on one of their more well – known number. This eager addition made quick work of the song and sounds like a solid recruit for any karaoke team.
To celebrate the end of a musically diverse and what sounded to be successful tour, HMBSMS were joined onstage by all members of the three touring bands for a spirited grand finale cover of “Time Warp” from the The Rocky Horror Picture Show.