American AquariumView in iTunes
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American Aquarium began releasing albums in 2006, drawing influence from bands like Whiskeytown and the Drive-By Truckers in the process. Formed in Raleigh, NC -- the unofficial headquarters of alt-country -- the band focused on the songwriting of B.J. Barham, who fleshed out his lineup with pianist Zack Brown, bassist Bill Corbin, guitarist Ryan Johnson, drummer Kevin McClain, and pedal steel player Whit Wright. Despite an active touring schedule, the group also visited the recording studio regularly, and released a pair of independent albums before partnering with Last Chance Records for 2009’s Dances for the Lonely. Fellow North Carolinian (and former dB’s frontman) Chris Stamey produced the record, which also featured guest vocals from Whiskeytown alumna Caitlin Cary. Arriving a year later, their fourth record Small Town Hymns further established their penchant for gritty, Springsteen-ian anthems. 2012 would prove to be a banner year for American Aquarium with the release of both their first concert album Live in Raleigh along with their fifth and most critically-acclaimed studio album, the Jason Isbell-produced Burn. Flicker. Die. Originally intended to be the group's swan song, the album instead ushered in the band's most successful period. Reinvigorated, they collaborated with producer Brad Cook (Megafaun) on their more alt-rock-inspired 2015 follow-up The Wolves. ~ Andrew Leahey & Timothy Monger