Here at the cutNscratch office, we’re always happy to hear about new releases from old musician friends. The American Aquarium is one of them.
BJ Barham’s North Carolina-based Americana/rock band has been playing around these parts for over a decade, despite the COVID-19 era. Meanwhile, Barham’s creativity has garnered an increasingly high profile for a band that, despite changing personnel, has retained its vibe.
Barham’s own journey, which included a struggle with addiction and continued recovery, became part of the story, and the singer/songwriter came out the other side with a fear-free approach to alienating old people. fans with hard truths.
The band released a new album on Friday, “Chicamacomico,” named after a beautiful spot on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. The title track is also the album opener and seeks to deal with a serious loss. The record plays across the desktop as fingers hit the keyboard, and it feels and sounds great, despite plenty of bittersweet content.
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The record was released in multiple formats via Losing Side Records/Thirty Tigers – the latter name an artist-friendly imprint that ensures as good a ride as an album is worth. Watch the video for “All I Needed” at youtu.be/SMny3pRbPdM and stream “Wildfire” at https://orcd.co/wildfire-aa.
American Aquarium, a live killer band, plays FloydFest July 28-29. An email touting the album’s release says the band’s tour begins with a June 17 date at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. It’s a first for Barham and his band, and what an iconic place to start a race. Here’s hoping this isn’t the last time AA hits “The Mother Church of Country Music.”
Oh, and I was writing this, the FloydFest news broke. Check Saturday’s A1 for information on the festival’s upcoming move to a new location.
Fantastic Negrito on NPRSpeaking of strong live acts at FloydFest, Fantastic Negrito (2019 festival theme: Voyage Home) received a lot of love for their June 3 album release, “White Jesus Black Problems.” An email ad from Shore Fire Media (which also represents American Aquarium, btw) points to its recent spot on NPR’s “All Things Considered.”
As NPR explains, the dossier “tells the true story of two of his ancestors who defied the laws of colonial Virginia to be together.” The common-law marriage between his grandmother of seven generations ago, a white indentured servant from Scotland, and his slave direct ancestor, an African-American man, “is like a punk rock moment” from centuries past, Negrito told NPR’s Ailsa Chang. The wife was Elizabeth Gallimore. Legal documents filed against her in Virginia did not identify her husband. Negrito calls him “Grandfather Courage”.
Check out the “All Things Considered” segment on n.pr/3aQ0OWs. If you like blues, rock and soul and haven’t heard this album, you’re really missing out. Find the visual album on your favorite streamer, via orcd.co/wjbp. Check out the project trailer at youtu.be/qkpHFkYqllc — Negrito ends this clip by saying, “Let our obstacles become our fuel. Dude already has three Grammy Awards. I bet he wins a fourth.
The closest to us is June 22 at the 930 Club, Washington. Hey FloydFest, bring it back to the new location in 2023!
Jam of the weekTedeschi Trucks Band, which for the past two months has played at both Rocky Mount’s Harvester Performance Center and the Academy Center of the Arts, Lynchburg, has a new album.
In fact, it’s one of four planned albums the band is releasing. “I Am The Moon: I. Crescent” is the first, and you can find it at found.ee/TTBIAmTheMoonCrescent. I want to listen to all four albums before I get too much of an opinion, but this first version contains a song that I love. “Pasaquan” is a 12+ minute instrumental jam that features a monster drum break from Tyler “Falcon” Greenwell and Isaac Eady.
Listen to “Pasaquan” on youtu.be/ryR8xwy6LLQ.