BJ Barham was recently featured on our new Forgotten Country Podcast. He is best known as the front man of the Americana country band American Aquarium.
Over the last 17 years, BJ has built a reputation as one of the hardest working and hardest touring acts in any genre. This summer, he and the band hit the road with the new album titled Chicamacomico.
We spoke with BJ backstage at the tractor Tavern in Seattle, Washington.
Listen to the Forgotten Country Podcast episode with BJ Barham of American Aquarium
Recently, American Aquarium celebrated the physical release of their career-best new record Chicamacomico (out via Losing Side Records / Thirty Tigers) with the announcement of two new exclusive-colored LPs: Lavender Marble (via Magnolia Record Club) and Green Smoke (exclusive to Indie Record Stores).
Chicamacomico is a ten-song collection that serves as songwriter BJ Barham’s firsthand, unflinching exploration of loss during the pandemic; Chicamacomico aims to help listeners feel less isolated and alone in their pain, and unites Barham with illustrious collaborators like producer Brad Cook, Patterson Hood, Lori McKenna and Hayes Carll. Upon its digital release in June, Chicamacomico reached #3 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Chart and has garnered over 1.5M streams to date.
The title of the album was inspired by a former life-saving station built-in 1874 on the Outer Banks of the band’s native North Carolina. Produced by Brad Cook (Bon Iver, Nathaniel Rateliff, Hurray for the Riff Raff) at Sonic Ranch, and with co-writes from Grammy-winner Lori McKenna and Grammy-nominee Hayes Carll, Chicamacomico is a moving reflection on how we pick up the pieces after losing someone dear to us and harness that loss into gratitude and a deeper understanding of the world we live in.
American Aquarium will also bring Chicamacomico to Europe next year on a run of recently-announced 2023 dates, including their return to London, Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, and more. The band are currently halfway through an extensive 50+ date coast-to-coast US tour, which kicked off with their first-ever headlining show at Nashville’s hallowed Ryman Auditorium. Of that show, The Boot noted that American Aquarium “brought the Ryman audience to a fever pitch, as they danced in the aisles from stagefront to the rafters soaking in every moment.”
“Forgotten Country” is a Yonlander-produced audio program celebrating classic country music from the past with emerging singers and songwriters redefining the genre for the next generation. Together, with our musical guests, we discuss music, politics, and culture from America’s small towns and rural communities and connect current events and artists to classic country singers from the past.
AMERICAN AQUARIUM US TOUR:
September 15 – Kansas City, MO – Knuckleheads
September 18 – St. Louis, MO – Delmar Hall
September 20 – Omaha, NE – The Waiting Room
September 21 – Des Moines, IA – Wooly’s
September 22 – Minneapolis, MN – The Fine Line
September 23 – Milwaukee, WI – Shank Hall
September 24 – Evanston, IL – Space
September 25 – Ferndale, MI – Magic Bag
September 27 – Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom
September 28 – Columbus, OH – Bluestone
September 29 – Indianapolis, IN – The Hi Fi Annex
September 30 – Newport, KY – Southgate House