A day after their second album, Corners, was officially released, the Bastards of Soul played at the Kessler Theater, their first performance without singer Chadwick Murray, who died suddenly in September. They didn’t try to replace Murray—they had a mic placed at center stage in a sort of missing-man formation, a place at the table for a fallen friend. His energy and presence were missing, but his spirit was palpable, and the band filled the gap between. The crowd for the early evening performance was full-house standing-room-only from the openers (Mike Lee and the Sha La Das) through to the Bastards. I talked to a few people in the crowd who knew him as friend not frontman, and they were in tears talking about who he was in their lives. They were so happy to see, given the turnout, how he touched so many lives. A true tribute to Chadwick.
[Editor’s note: in the lobby at the Kessler were several photos of Murray taken by Rob Chickering at a Bastards show at Twilite Lounge, in Deep Ellum. You can buy those photos printed on aluminum. Chickering is donating proceeds from the sale to Murray’s family.]