BJ Barham (American Aquarium) Talks Springsteen’s ‘Born To Run’


BJ Barham has been touring hard with his band American Aquarium for nearly a decade, building upon his rapid fan base with each passionate live show across North America and Europe. The Raleigh, North Carolina based band had a breakthrough of sorts with their excellent 2015 album Wolves, taking the band to an even larger audience behind the buzz.

But back in November of 2015, American Aquarium was touring in Belgium, less than two hours from Paris on the night of the terrorist attacks that killed over 100 people. The immediate onslaught of worried fans, friends, and family of the alt-country band sparked something in BJ Barham, and a new batch of songs were written in two days. BJ quickly collected a group of musician friends to jump in the studio to record what would become his solo debut album, Rockingham, named after the county in North Carolina BJ Barham is from and just released last Friday, August 19th. Rockingham is a beautiful, very real and personal take on the lives of people in rural areas and the small town life that helped shape BJ. The singer songwriter’s solo debut is wonderful gift to all the many American Aquarium fans, while also serving a good introduction to BJ’s work for new fans.

One thing that BJ and American Aquarium has always been known for is their live performances, and now with BJ’s debut solo album out, he’s taken the new songs on the road for a more personal and paired down look at the man that is BJ Barham. Tonight, BJ takes the stage at the new City Winery in Atlanta at Ponce City Market (BUY TICKETS HERE) with SUSTO’s Justin Osborne opening! We caught up with BJ to ask him what’s an influential album that really sticks out and helped shape his career.

55dc70f19129e“I think that the album that has had the biggest impact on my songwriting and career would have to be Bruce Springsteen’s Born To Run. The imagery on that record and his entire catalog, are a master’s course in songwriting. He was one of the first writers I got into that could immediately transport you to his world before you even hit the chorus. You just don’t listen to Springsteen songs, you get pulled into that world and become a fly on the wall as you move through the narrator’s story. I always have admired his ability to relate with the listener. No fancy language. No abstract metaphors. Just real stories about real people that you could pass in the street on a daily basis. The minute I heard the honesty in the songs, I was hooked. Songs are supposed to make you feel things and that record delivered. Simple human emotions. That’s what its all about.” /-BJ Barham

Upcoming Tour Dates:

August 25th – Atlanta, GA @ City Winery
August 26th – Waverly, AL @ Standard Deluxe
August 27th – Little Rock, AR @ White Water Tavern
August 29th – Newport, KY @ Southgate House Revival
August 30th – Asheville, NC @ Grey Eagle
August 31st – Nashville, TN @ City Winery
September 1st – Charlotte, NC @ Visulite Theatre

Full list of BJ Barham’s solo tour dates is here



About Author

Mike Gerry

Head music fiend at OpenEars Music

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