American Aquarium

Releases: Live at Terminal West (2016), Wolves (2015), Burn.Flicker.Die (2012), Live in Raleigh (2012), Small Town Hymns (2010), Dances for the Lonely (2009), Bones (2008), The Bible & The Bottle (2008), Antique Hearts (2006)
Years at MusicFest: 5

For nearly a decade, American Aquarium have spent the majority of their days on the road, burning through a sprawl of highways during the day and playing hours of raw, rootsy rock & roll at night. Sometimes, the job is a grind. Most times, it’s a blessing. American Aquarium’s songs, filled with biographical lyrics about last calls, lost love and long horizons, have always explored both sides of that divide. When American Aquarium traveled to Muscle Shoals to record Burn.Flicker.Die. in 2012, they were convinced the album would be their last. Weathered and whittled to the bone by years of heavy partying and heavier touring, the band’s front man BJ Barham, was so poor that he’d been living out of a storage unit for months. Clearly, something had to give. It was time to make one final album, then throw in the towel. As fate would have it, Burn.Flicker.Die. proved to be extremely successful. Critics loved it. Fans rallied behind it. Several years and hundreds of shows later, the band has travelled the world, quadrupled their fan base and reinvented their passion for the road. When the time came to record another album in 2014, it only made sense to do something that celebrated survival rather than failure. The resulting Wolves 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. Barham has certainly spent time in all three, but now looks to brighter horizons in these new songs.

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