For the first podcast of 2017, we welcome in Bill Corbin and Kevin McClain, the rhythm section of Americana country-rockers American Aquarium. The trials and tribulations have been well documented for the hard-working outfit. The six-piece is as sincere and earnest as the songs they’ve crafted over the years. A few weeks back, it was announced that long-time guitarists Ryan Johnson and Colin Dimeo would be leaving the band. And after 300+ days on the road for the better part of a decade, the Raleigh, North Carolina-based rockers decided that taking a break would be best. As Corbin and McClain explain, the band is taking off the rest of the year come the end of March. With only a handful of dates left on the calendar–their two-night stand Roadtrip to Raleigh, a Cayamo Cruise, and a string of European tour dates, the band is getting a well deserved rest. On this episode, we talk with Corbin and McClain about their interests–weightlifting and cycling–that keep them sane on the road, how they’ve matured as a band–as individuals and musically as a band–over the years, working with Jason Isbell on their breakout album Burn. Flicker. Die., and where they go from here.
by: Thomas D. Mooney
This week’s episode is with two great American songwriters of the new generation: William Clark Green and BJ Barham of American Aquarium. Green and Barham are cut from with same cloth. They write from personal experiences that transcend their own bubbles and relate to people in the most intimate of ways. There’s a grit and edge to their songs that cut straight to the core. We pulled Green and Barham away for an hour a few Fridays back to record the episode in the midst of the circus that was Green’s Street Party at The Blue Light. We cover a handful of topics ranging from their early struggles as musicians, their alma maters (North Carolina State & Texas Tech University), road stories, and lazy radio interview questions.
This episode is presented by The Blue Light Live.
by: Thomas D. Mooney
Buddy Holly’s statue stares off into the distance. A block over on the street that bears his name, William Clark Green is having a street show party out in front of The Blue Light. Storms are brooding off in the distance. Armed with his colossal Stratocaster, Holly acts as a warning to rain clouds and thunderheads as if saying “None shall pass.” Holly, the patron saint of Lubbock Music.
Green and company–a clan consisting of American Aquarium, Red Shahan, and Flatland Cavalry–start the day off with confidence, but a concerned eye glued to doppler radar and local weather reports.
Starting at 8 am, an imposing stage is being raised in the intersection of Buddy Holly and 18th. Cones, street barriers, trolleys of beer, signs, flags, trash cans, BBQ smoking on the side, speakers and amps, makeshift bars, guitars and cases, chairs and tables, cables and cash registers, buckets of t-shirts, koozies, CDs, vinyl, buck whiskey bottles, and a whole of burn extract begin taking shape into something recognizing a day festival of music. A colony of Blue Light staff come in and out the The Blue Light like a colony of ants out of a mound.
Inside in pool room, Green and BJ Barham of American Aquarium are finishing up a podcast episode with us. They bounce cordial–but sincere–lines of reverence off one another before letting loose a little and diving deep into music conversation. We hit record.
A line forms. Doors won’t be officially open until 7 pm, but there they form a line snaking around the barriers and going down the far sidewalk in front of Triple J’s. You can hear an echo when you walk into Blue Light still. It’s a calm before the eventual storm of people who will crowd the bar. Get a beer and shot while you still can.
At 7:15 sharp, Flatland drummer Jason Albers begins pounding a beat. One by one, Flatland comes out adding more to Albers’ hammer downs.
So it goes.
Below is a section of photographs taken throughout the day. For more, check out New Slang’s Flickr page here.