AMERICAN AQUARIUM – ” Things Change “

Posted: March 29, 2018 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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Alone on the road for nearly two months, B.J Barham pieced together a different lineup, steadily accumulating ideas for new songs at the same time.

“I don’t have a side trade,” he says from his home in North Carolina, where he’s taking a rare break from the road in anticipation of his baby daughter’s birth. “I write songs, I travel around, and I play them for people. Those are the only things I’m good at. When you have a mass exodus, like five of your best friends leaving the band at the same time, you don’t have time to throw yourself a pity party. My wife didn’t let me do that, at least. She gave me a couple days of thinking, ‘Woe is me,’ and then I was back at the grind, figuring out how to put another band together. I found a group of guys who were inspired to be on the road, and that inspired me as a songwriter.”

When Barham wrapped up his solo tour and returned to North Carolina on the Fourth of July, a new lineup awaited him, along with a new muse. Things Change, his first record featuring the revised American Aquarium arrives June 1st and dives into the political rift that’s split the country into warring factions – particularly in the American South, where B.J Barham has lived his entire life.

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On the record’s kickoff single, “Tough Folks,” he traces his family’s history through years of tobacco farming, economic depression, perseverance and rebirth. Along the way, he tackles President Trump’s election, neither condemning nor condoning the people — including the 2,362,631 North Carolinians who helped vote him into office — whose views differ from his own. Like the rest of Things Change, “Tough Folks” offers hope and positivity, positioning both as antidotes for the modern-day blues.

“The whole purpose of that song is perseverance,” he explains. “Growing up, most of my town was based on agriculture. When agriculture was taken away, some people bitched about it, but some people found alternate ways of making a living and feeding their family. You’ve gotta find a way to get through it. The line I’m particularly proud of is, ‘Last November, I saw first-hand what desperation makes good people do.’ Don’t get me wrong – there are some pieces of shit that voted for [Trump] – but there’s a lot of good, working people that voted for him.

American Aquarium is
BJ Barham – Vocals, Guitar
Shane Boeker – Lead Guitar
Joey Bybee – Drums
Ben Hussey – Bass
Adam Kurtz – Pedal Steel Guitar, Electric Guitar

With special guests
Byron Berline – Fiddle
John Fullbright – Piano, Clavinet, Mellotron, Guitar, Vocals
John Moreland – Vocals
Wes Sharon – Percussion
Dan Walker – Organ, Accordion
Jamie Lin Wilson – Vocals

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