In December of 2018, writer Matt Harrison travelled down to Chicago where he met up with Justin Osborne of SUSTO. Along with backup singer Jordan Igoe and band tour manager Van ‘The Good’ Robinson, the group travelled together for two weeks, crossing through Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina, Georgia, and more. Matt came back to Winnipeg and wrote a six pieces about his time on the road which were published to a South Carolina publication called Extra Chill. In addition to the original six pieces are a few other pieces that were written while Harrison was out on the road with SUSTO.
When you step on tour with Justin Osborne, Jordan Igoe, and Van ‘The Good’ Robinson, the road seems endless from the outset. Times are good at every stop and it feels as though there’s a full moon hanging over every city you pull in to.
Then one morning you wake up in Macon, Georgia, and the ride has ended. The crew disbands and this old train is set down to rest for some time to come.
“I brought some energy weed,” James said as he walked through the front door of the house on the Rialto Row compound. One lesson I’ve learned with absolute certainty is that the rock and roll world is a feisty bull to hang on to, so you may as well get stoned and do your best to keep at it.
Van the Good and James both arrived at Rialto early to sort out the plan for the day before we left for Georgia for the last show of the tour.
The night was a blinding darkness as Justin, Igoe, and I drove through the night. Van the Good spent the night in Columbia while the three of us were Charleston bound. Justin put on a Bob Seger album to fend off the exhaustion. We were in the middle of some moon lit nowhere, buried deep within the lowland hills of South Carolina when “Turn The Page” came on. Justin sang along under his breath.
“4:20 arrival,” Van the Good yelled from the driver seat, “we have to make that. Everybody, hold your pisses.”
The drive from Mobile to New Orleans is a little over two hours, which is nothing compared to the hundreds of miles we had traveled thus far. We passed over endless miles of sun baked highway as we came into Louisiana while the bass of “House of the Rising Sun” rattled the windows. The bayou swamp grew thick and deep around us before it receded, and we climbed into the belly of the beast called New Orleans.