Snacking on American Aquarium (After Trivia) at the Hummingbird

I’m a fan of American Aquarium. It’s a little more than the rollicking beat of their feel good Americana – hell, sometimes, the lyrics are about feeling down, yet they infuse even those songs with a sort of dark humour that makes it feel fun – but the members of the band themselves who have fun and hang out with the fans afterwards as if the entire city of Macon were their good friends.

The last time I saw the band was Bragg Jam. It was also the best I’d heard them of the three other times I’d heard them of the three other times I’d gone to see them. In front of an audience filled with Christians, fans, the curioius, they declared their love for Macon, the Hummingbird in particular, and I felt a swell of pride for my city. I believed BJ Barham, the singer, becauseit was told through the honest of free alcohol and the lens of open armed hospitality that Vic Stanley and the ‘Bird always offered the band.

Maybe a week later, BJ visited the city, sans band, with fellow singer/songwriters Jay Buchanan and Joe Fieldman. American Aquarium were taking a break between tours. BJ talked to Joe and they set up their own mini-tour.

Joe Firstman met BJ in Raleigh after a show and BJ told him he had Joe’s first record and knew every song. Joe asked BJ if he wanted to be a part of his acoustic tour, but BJ recommended coming to the ‘Bird in Macon. Joe also asked friend Jay Buchanan to come along and Jay obliged, all the way from Los Angeles, CA.

Jay got the evening started at 11. My husband said he sounded like Jeff Buckley on the Sketches for my Sweetheart the Drunk album, but I thought he sounded like a blues musician. I see the Buckley comparison. His songwriting is excellent. The album has been on rotation at work. It has a very bluesy, guitar rock sound to it. Joe Firstman, on the other hand, was more soulful, deliberate with his lyrics and playing style. BJ was simply without band, playing music similar to what we would hear from him, putting a southern drawl on acoustic, indie rock music. It was a good night for music.

Tonight, I’m looking forward to seeing American Aquarium, not to mention that it’s ladies night. Increasingly, I find that Macon is getting to the point where I can pick a night and a venue and find good music. It’s about damn time! But even as far as it’s progressed, there is still a lot to do to make this a scene that other scenes want to be and other scenes’ groupies want to be with. I’m kinda optimistic we’ll get there. Fingers crossed.


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