SATURDAY, April 13, 8p
House of Blues Voodoo Garden Stage
Them Ol’ Ghosts are a four-piece rock band with roots buried deep in Southern soul. Their 2017 debut, Renegade, was recorded off the grid in a makeshift studio in the backwoods of Mississippi. Fronted by vocalist and guitarist Theophile Bourgeois, the band features guitarist Justin Johnson, drummer Blair Champagne and bassist Aaron Younce.
Recently, the band appeared at Gretna Fest and at Tipitina’s, where they opened up for Delta Revelry. With several appearances at the House of Blues New Orleans behind them, Them Ol’ Ghosts are gearing up for the release of a new five-song EP, recorded at the legendary Music Shed Studios. On May 24, they’ll celebrate the release of the as-yet untitled EP. But first, the fledgling group is focusing on their debut appearance at French Quarter Festival, where they’ll appear on Saturday, April 13.
“To say we’re stoked would be an understatement,” Bourgeois tells me. The band is planning a 90-minute set replete with the “Southern progressive rock ’n’ roll” he says Them Ol’ Ghosts is all about. The band draws from soul, blues and folk as much as it does prog rock, but regardless of the source, what’s emitted from the musicians is authentic. “Everything we do truly pulls from sincere intent,” he explains. “Music to us is such an integral part of what it is to be human. I look at it as an auditory manifestation of human emotion and every song out there is an extremely acute experience of one person who was able to translate that message through arranging sounds and crafting language in such a way as to resonate that experience with an audience. It’s the most rewarding feeling to have strangers tell you how your lyrics have touched them. My songs are often very personal experiences and there’s therapeutic value in that process. I know I’ve saved countless dollars on therapy by just writing music.”
Bourgeois lives in Barataria, a small town outside Lafitte. He says he can’t help but be inspired by his surroundings, but perhaps not in the more obvious ways. “There is a certain regional aspect to our sound, which is why I add ‘Southern’ to our title. But I don’t think of us as others might think of ‘Southern’ music. We’re not out here singing about whiskey and motorcycles or trucks or anything. For me, a big source of inspiration is the romance of South Louisiana. My backyard is the swamp—it’s home to me. There’s such rich cultural currency and unending inspiration here. The swamp is my muse and I could never escape her charm.”