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American Aquarium w/ Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds 

When: Fri., May 4 2012
Price: $10
Singer/guitarist B.J. Barham and his American Aquarium mates have released four albums and an EP over the course of four years while playing hundreds of shows. They’ve followed a trajectory similar to Lucero, from the more tradition folk and country-rock of their first couple albums into the Southern rock and Springsteen-esque anthems of their 2009 album Dances for the Lonely and onto the roots-rock of 2010’s Small Town Hymns. Barham’s gruff baritone recalls Lucero’s Ben Nichols while Whit Wright’s pedal steel provides a sturdy country flavor. The quintet’s bar-band swagger resembles the Drive-By Truckers. American Aquarium will release their fifth full-length, Burn.Flicker.Die, later this year. They recorded it in Muscle Shoals with former Trucker Jason Isbell in January. In February, the band also released their first live album, recorded in their hometown of Raleigh. This week’s appearance offers a sneak peak of the new songs. The songs showcase Barham’s feel for his beaten, brokenhearted, and dispossessed characters.
— Chris Parker


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