Favorite

Backyard Tire Fire: Good to Be (Kelsey Street) 

An all-too-common trap for Americana bands is to lay down an easy beat and dial in some twang. Bloomington, Ill., trio Backyard Tire Fire settles in miles away from that cookie-cutter approach, mixing barreling roadhouse rockers with lean, catchy, soulful tunes.

The band plays with a versatile authority, but it's the lyrics of Ed Anderson that set Backyard Tire Far apart. With a taut 11 songs, Good to Be is a meditation on life's everyday struggles and joys, with Anderson's carefully sketched details suggesting some profound depths lurking in the world's more routine truths.

Produced by Los Lobos' Steve Berlin, the record samples from different elements of the broad Americana sound spectrum. The band (singer-guitarist-keyboardist Anderson, his brother Matt on bass, and Tim Kramp on drums and percussion) is ambitious throughout, at turns bluesy, folky and poppy.

"Hell and Back" is steady and catchy, splitting the difference between jangly 1990s alt-rock and the ramshackle charm of alt-country bands.

With its big guitar chords, handclaps and a bright melody, "Good to Be" is a feel-good anthem for those honest enough to say that it's simply good to be alive. "A Thousand Gigs Ago" is the band's own story of life on the road, simultaneously weary and exhilarated, recalling the long gone days when "the old Ford still had legs."

Good to Be is a breakthrough record for a band that's not only paid its dues, but along the way discovered how to mold some well-worn sounds into a distinctive, new entity.

More by Eric Swedlund

  • Light the Match

    Sedona’s own decker. kicks out a fiery new album
    • Jul 6, 2017
  • Liberate, Create!

    A trio of skilled songsmiths generate a new folk-rock
    • Apr 13, 2017
  • Preaching the Bad Testament

    Scott H. Biram—the original Dirty Old One Man Band—is back in the pulpit
    • Apr 6, 2017
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Latest in Rhythm & Views

  • Rhythm & Views

    American Monoxide “In Flight Mode” (People In A Position To Know)
    • Dec 18, 2014
  • Rhythm & Views

    Wight Lhite “Beyond the Satellites” (Paisley Shirt Records)
    • Dec 11, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Vintage Vinyl

    Quinstrels "I've Got a Girl"/"Tell Her" Moxie Records M.R.C.—1965
    • Jul 13, 2017
  • Vintage Vinyl

    The Frozen Sun “Electric Soul”/”Electric Soul” (long version) Captain Zoomar Records, 1969
    • Jun 29, 2017
  • More »

Facebook Activity

© 2017 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation