After essentially getting rid of all of the previous incarnation of the band Barham has put together a great set of musicians backing him tonight. Hailing from North Carolina, BJ Barham joins the ranks of other excellent Carolinians such as MC Taylor, HC McEntire (whats with the two letter monikers) and Phil Cook (what went wrong Phil).
Over here promoting their latest album ‘Things Change’ the set tonight also includes a large chunk of arguably their best album ‘Burn.Flicker.Die’. Barham possesses one of those great gravel country voices like Ryan Bingham. His songs feature largely autobiographical, storytelling lyrics and he is equally at home with the band behind him or solo acoustic, the purest form of music for me. Not afraid to bare his soul, tackle his demons and apologise for his past misdemeanours, Barham is an open honest performer and this only leads to a more emotional attachment to him and his songs.
Another word for the band tonight who seem to be having as good as time as us tonight with an exceptional pedal steel and guitarist both taking the limelight but not forgetting the driving rhythm provided by the drummer and bassist. There’s also a guy on the keyboard but I am sure he only played ten notes all night.
Highlights for me are the heart wrenching ‘Man I’m supposed to be’ Barham’s solo effort ‘Rockingham’ but what a way to end on the title track of ‘Burn.Flicker.Die’ which rocks like the proverbial and leaves everyone on a country rocking high.
If you like your Americana with a heart worn firmly on the sleeve, filled with intelligent songs, great tunes and a rock edge then American Aquarium is the band for you. A long time waiting for me but can’t wait to see this newly invigorated band again.
Keep on country rockin y’all