When musician James Everhart takes the stage at the Lititz Shirt Factory, he won’t be alone.
In fact, enough musicians to complete two or three groups will join him.
Philadelphia tenCosmic Guilt burst onto the scene this year, with four singles from a completed but not released debut album and a massive broadcast from Philly Station WXPN. While there are a lot of players, it’s not a Polyphonic Spree situation with flowing dresses and giant choirs.
Instead, Cosmic Guilt leans heavily on some sort of psychedelic Americana, with soft guitars, pedal steel and ghostly harmonies.
Cosmic Guilt performs at the Lititz Shirt Factory on Friday December 17th. Tickets cost $ 20.
Everhart is a lifelong musician, who last visited Lancaster in 2014 as part of popular rockers Low Cut Connie.
“The coolest thing about the many people who are so good with their instruments is that it’s rare,” Everhart said over the phone. “A lot of the comments I get from people are like, ‘Wow, I thought that was going to be a mess. And it’s like, no, these parts are all orchestrated and deliberate. Sometimes I can just sit there and sing. I use my acoustic guitar to conduct the music a bit, but I can just relax because there are already 4000 people playing.“
Cosmic seeds were planted at the end of 2019 when Everhart, also of the raucous Scantron of Philly, decided to delve into a long-standing appreciation for British folk artists such as Fairport Convention and Nick Drake. Some of this year’s singles, like the instant earworm “Cautious Lover” and the dynamic folk rocker “Silver and Lead,“ debuted over a decade ago as a sketch in Everhart’s Notebook, not yet ready for the world.
“No one was mature enough to make that kind of music, because everyone wanted to shred and be frank and play a thousand notes,” Everhart laughs. “Now the challenge is how many notes can we play? How perfect can the ones we pose be? In college I was in a lot of bands that I like to call “The Budweiser Rock”. You start to release sensitive songs about the loss of your love at the sea, and everybody’s like, ‘Yeah, we’re not goes do this one. ‘”
The members of Cosmic Guilt were friends entering the group, which allowed the musicians to start working quickly. Everhart usually brings nearly complete demos for the band, and then each member finds their own groove for improve or develop the initial ideas.
How a ten-bunk find time to practice? Well, by making it fun. Everhart usually hosts what he calls a “Cosmic Brunch” on Sundays, where the band gets together and soak up country records and zines, breakfast ffood and cannabis (Everhart is a full-time Creative Director in the cannabis industry).
What comes next is a combination of–to be–determined and to–to be–unveiled. Building on previous groups in the region, Cosmic Guilt emerged almost fully formed and in demand at PhiladelpSalvation. As Everhart explains, none of the band members are more “musician bartenders” and each has their own full-time job in Industries like fashion design, graphic arts and coffee.
“I toured for six years all over the world, in every state, in Europe, in Mexico, in Canada, everywhere. So that itch kinda scratched for me, ”Everhart said of her world tour. “However, that came with a huge network of people in the industry, and I think that’s why we’re seeing little early success with this project, because I’ve gotten to know a ton of people in industry.
“We have a bunch of great announcements of shows in the new year, but we’ll take it slow,” he says. “For example, I have a friend who delivers to Levon’s (Closed off)barn (drummer of The Band). Wcan I go to woodstock? Hell yeah.“
So this is your sign to see Cosmic Cultability in Lititz, because you might not get the chance again.
“It’s the kind of music I’ve always wanted to play and always loved,” says Everhart. “Cosmic guilt for me is like finally hearing what I’ve heard in my head. It’s like, ‘Oh finally – that’s what I was talking about.’ So I am really happy and his really easy to write songs for this band because it’s the most natural style of music for me.