NC’s American Aquarium Preps New Album for Feb.

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Hard-twanging Raleigh rockers make the big push…

By Blurt Staff

American Aquarium (singer-songwriter BJ Barham, guitarists Ryan Johnson, and Colin Dimeo, bassist Bill Corbin, drummer Kevin McClain, and Whit Wright on pedal-steel) is aiming to put their hometown of Raleigh, NC, on the map early next year with the release of their new studio album Wolves. Due Feb. 3, it’s the followup to their critically acclaimed, Jason Isbell-produced Burn. Flicker. Die — reviewed HERE at Blurt, incidentally — and is self-described as “an ode to last calls, lost love and long horizons.”

After spending countless hours honing their raw, rootsy brand of rock & roll playing for committed fans in small venues for close to a decade, frontman Barham was inspired to create the 10-track album recorded over the course of 20 days at Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville, NC that he describes as “the sound of a band firing on all cylinders.” A departure from their tried & true high-octane sound, the Brad Cook (of Megafaun)-produced ‘Wolves’ is imaginative alternative rock that blends the twang of the pedal steel with the dark, dirty swirl of two electric guitars, creating a sound that’s fit for the roadhouse, the honky tonk and the dive bar.

Using elements of southern rock, complimented by bluegrass, and traces of funk, American Aquarium’s calculated sound is a journey through signature pieces of each genre, coming together into a powerful, authentic blend brought to life by Barham’s sincere vocals. The bold, walking bass line of “Family Problems” thunders throughout the album’s opening track, continuing through the soulful “Southern Sadness” and “Ramblin’ Ways,” and giving way to gentle organs and the soothing whine of pedal-steel guitar that highlight introspective blues cuts “Man I’m Supposed to Be” and “Wolves.” [Below: listen to a track from Burn. Flicker. Die.]

As heard on red-dirt southern rock cuts like “Wichita Falls,” and album closer “Who Needs a Song,” the time spent burning through U.S. highways, roadhouses, and dive bars countrywide has helped American Aquarium forge a southern rock style that is just as classic as it is alternative.

American Aquarium Wolves CD

12/03 – Wild West – Lubbock, TX
12/04 – Billy Bob’s – Fort Worth, TX
12/05 – Midnight Rodeo – Amarillo, TX
12/06 – Bayou Music Center – Houston, TX
12/07 – The White Water Tavern – Little Rock, AR
12/31 – Wormy Dog Saloon – Oklahoma City, OK
1/2 – Iron Horse Pub – Wichita Falls, TX
1/3 – Marquis Theater – Denver, CO
1/6 – Slopeside Grill – Steamboat Springs, CO
1/7 – 1/9 – Steamboat Music Fest – Steamboat Springs, CO
1/10 – Hoot’s – Amarillo, TX
1/14 – Blaine’s Pub – San Angelo, TX
1/15 – The Silo – Abilene, TX
1/18 – Sam’s Burger Joint – San Antonio, TX
1/19 – House of Rock – Corpus Christi, TX
1/20 – Cheatham Street – San Marcos, TX
1/21 – Billy’s Ice – New Braunfels, TX
1/22 – Continental Club – Austin, TX
1/30 – Lincoln Theatre – Raleigh, NC
1/31 – Lincoln Theatre – Raleigh, NC
2/5 – Capone’s – Johnson City, TN
2/6 – Barley’s – Knoxville, TN
2/7 – Blind Tiger – Greensboro, NC
2/12 – New Mountain – Asheville, NC
2/13 – Visulite Theatre – Charlotte, NC
2/18 – Rhythm and Brews – Chattanooga, TN
2/19 – The Bottletree – Birmingham, AL
2/20 – Ashley Street Station – Valdosta, GA
2/21 – The Jinx – Savannah, GA
2/26 – The Southgate House Revival – Newport, KY
2/27 – Weatherwax Hall – Jackson, MI
2/28 – Ignition Music Garage – Goshen, IN
3/4 – Off Broadway – St Louis, MO
3/5 – Knuckleheads – Kansas City, MO
3/6 – Single Barrel – Lincoln, NE
3/12 – Rockin’ Rodeo – Denton, TX


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