The Psycodelics’ immersive stage presence finds its way to the Pour House on Sept. 22 with garage rock act The Mobros | Credit: Provided

Charleston act The Psycodelics brews a potent funk rock distilled with disco, jazz and blues, saturated by dancing bass lines, boom-bap grooves and lush harmonies.

“The Psycodelics don’t sound like anything that’s coming out of here, even though it is familiar,” frontman Cam Wescott told the Charleston City Paper. “You can hear all the influences — but it’s not an imitation, it’s an innovation. We’re trying to take the sounds and ideas musically from back in the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and 2000s — everything up until now — and put it all together. There’s no certain time period.”

The seven-piece band will perform its first hometown show in almost a year on Sept. 22 at the Charleston Pour House with local garage rock duo The Mobros.

The group gives off inimitable energy, and its flavor of powerhouse soul heats up an impassioned nostalgia.

“Everything we play, whether it’s loud and fast or very soft and sensual, it still hits you the same — with the same amount of umph,” Wescott said. “You leave feeling like your chest was rattled.
“We all have our different beliefs, but I feel like as a band, we believe in some kind of higher power, and we channel that in our music. Our fans don’t have to believe in what we believe in, they’ve just got to feel it. We’ve just been trying to make people feel this shit, simply put.”

The Psycodelics first formed in 2019 as a four-piece consisting of keyboardist Noah Jones, drummer Sean Bing, guitarist Whitt Burn and Wescott on bass and lead vocals. Since then the R&B fusion band has added to its ranks guitarist Jim Rubush, drummer Demario Kitt and vocalist Harlem Farr.

After winning the 2021 City Paper Music Award for Best Soul/R&B Act of the Year and wowing crowds at The Royal American’s Boogieman Festival the past two years, The Psycodelics have since hit the road on various regional tours and walked through new doors of opportunity.
“Everything for us has been word of mouth,” Wescott said.

Collaborative composition

He said an album release is definitely on the horizon in 2024, and in the meantime the band will be working with the concert streaming service to get more eyes and ears on its old-school sound. has recorded shows with New York rock-fusion band TAUK, Chicago-based alternative act Neal Francis, Americana star Marcus King and Nashville country artist Daniel Donato. So far, The Psycodelics recorded live material from the Mile of Music festival in Appleton, Wis., and tour stops in Nashville, Louisville and Knoxville.

Wescott said he and Jones take the lead on songwriting and composing for The Psycodelics, and their complementary skill sets mesh well.

“When we write a song it’s always in-person,” Wescott said of him and Jones. “We flesh it out right then, and then bring it to the band. It’s so easy with Noah because we fill in each other’s gaps. He has a super melodic side, and he understands harmony and chord structures in ways that my brain has not opened up fully to yet. I’ve learned so much more melodically from Noah than I’ve learned in school. I went to school for rhythm and percussion.”

Yet each member’s instrumental finesse influences the band’s material, which is ever-changing and nuanced with each live performance.

“Whit and Jimmy have been doing a lot on the strings, bringing different elements like the blues,” Wescott said. “Jimmy’s been bringing out the slide and giving it a Delta Blues feel, and Whit has more of a Stevie Ray Vaughan style mixed with Eddie Van Halen and Jimi Hendrix.”
To Wescott, music is the one medium through which it’s easiest to communicate even if you don’t speak the same language.

“Music is the one thing that everybody likes or can relate to. … You can’t do that with everything. It’s crazy to see how people gravitate towards certain music, but if you put on Michael Jackson in any city, it’s definitely universal — and I just love music for that reason, that everybody can dig on it.”

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