Daytrotter has dropped a few sessions that are right up ninebullets alley and I was sitting here in my computer room drinking coffee, setting fantasy lineups as they played in the background so I decided I should tell y’all about them.

Last Thursday Jon and Chad from Drag the River made their debut (i think) on Daytrotter playing some tracks from their latest album Demons. It could be argued that these recordings are better than the versions on the album. You can check out the session (and download it for free) here.

Drag The River – The Other Side Of OK

Here at the ninebullets compound we’re really big fans of the kids from American Aquarium and was really surprised to see them posted on Daytrotter today. As Sean said on the session, American Aquarium are similar to the Drive-By Truckers in the sense that they paint a picture of the struggle of growing up in the small town south. Check it out here.

American Aquarium – Reidsville


The Back Row Baptists were brought to my attention via some of my fellow Twitter tweeters a few months back, and after a few mishaps one of their new cds, Broken Hearts & Bad Decisions, landed in my mailbox. For a while I really didn’t think I liked the album very much but after a few passes I realized that there was just a 4 song stretch (tracks 4 thru 7) in the middle of the cd that I really didn’t like. I deleted them and found a new band that I am digging the hell out of.

The Back Row Baptists come out of Birmingham, Alabama and consist of Chris Porter, Sarah Green, Heath Green, Susan Nuckols, Adam Guthrie and Jay Taylor. Where I come from, Southern Baptists are everywhere. Besides being bat shit crazy they are also one of the most judgemental cults you’ll ever run across (but at least they don’t rape little boys like those pesky Catholics). I tell you this because I’ve always heard the term “back row Baptist” used as a descriptor for a Southern Baptist who drinks, gambles and commits other hell-worthy offenses, of which Southern Baptists have more than the day is long. Now, I don’t know if that’s where the band pulled the term from, but I am pretending that it is.

Their bio describes their music as “uniquely Southern” and “outlaw gospel”. In this era of internets, cable tv and increased homogeneity, I’m not quite sure what “uniquely Southern” really means anymore, but I can damned sure get on board with the “outlaw gospel” descriptor. Another one of my fellow twitter tweeters called them, “a Birmingham version of American Aquarium”. It was a comparison that I had not even thought of, but damned if a revisit to the album didn’t prove it to be dead on. Both bands write real songs about real people (literally) and real situations. However, The Back Row Baptists do it with a lot more of a country flair. One might say Chris Porter’s voice sounds a little like a young pre-years of road abuse Ben Nichols while his inflection could be the brother of BJ Barham’s. I’m also told they’re one hell of a fun band to see live, so I just might have to put on my show promoter hat and get them down here to Florida.

The Back Row Baptists – Fourth of July
The Back Row Baptists – By and By
The Back Row Baptists – Miles Away

The Back Row Baptists’ Official Site, The Back Row Baptists on myspace, Buy Broken Hearts & Bad Decisions


I’m sitting here in front of the laptop on the eve of getting to see American Aquarium live for the very first time (by the time you’re reading this I’ll already have seen them) and I’m preparing to do my third piece about an American Aquarium album. When they first started up they were easily described as Whiskeytown-meets-Lucero, and every obligatory Springsteen reference was earned in full. With their latest album, Small Town Hymns, I feel like the band is finally starting to try and break out of those limits. Some will point at the lyrical content of this album and say it’s safe, playing well within the tried and true confines of the genre, and honestly I cannot argue with that assessment. That said, what B.J.’s lyrics might lack in refinement is made up in the kind of authenticity that can occasionally find a small handful of his “songs” present in the bar during hometown shows, and I can appreciate that kind of thing.

In the past I’ve described American Aquarium as an “indie rock band with just enough twang & swagger to keep this particular blogger engaged”. This time around the tides have certainly changed, bringing us a largely Americana sound with enough indie elements to keep it from sounding stale or formulaic but that swagger, that ain’t going nowhere.

For me the real gem in this album isn’t in it’s lyrical content (liked or not) and it’s not in the indie main dish, which has been relegated to a mere side dish. No, where this album truly excels is in its overall feel. To me, the album has a quiet desperation to it with an underlying theme of people trying get out of their self-defined limits, beliefs, towns and habits, even though everyone, including themselves, know they’ll probably fail. Maybe it’s ’cause I grew up in a small town with the same mind frame or ’cause I’m drunk tonight, but there is something about that that I can embrace, befriend and label Essential Listening.

American Aquarium – Nothing To Lose
American Aquarium – Rattlesnake
American Aquarium – Water in the Well

American Aquarium’s Official Site, American Aquarium on myspace, Buy Small Town Hymns


Well. I’ll be a motherfucker. I never expected to still be doing these 12 months after the first one but here we are. Furthermore, I feel as though they are an integral part of the site now days. For some reason, I don’t really care to much about the stats for the podcast but today I took a peek at them and according to the stats there are 2500 subscribers to this fucker! I don’t know if that’s a lot or a pathetic number in podcast world but I am pretty sure it’s more people than the average Rays game gets. I hope it’s 5000 by this time next year. With that said, let’s talk about this month’s podcast.

For the one year anniversary I’ve brought y’all, what I feel like, is the best podcast to date from a production standpoint….and musically it’s pretty friggin’ stellar to. I open it with a small collection of happy birthday tracks before settling into a show full of brand new material. We got brand new tracks from The Black Keys, American Aquarium, Red Clay River, I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch In The House, Gaslight Anthem and The Morning Pages. Also, in celebration of our birthday, we’re bringing you the best give away the podcast has had to date but to know about that you’re gonna have to actually listen to the damn thing. Another thing that was super cool about this month’s podcast is that there were actually requests from twitter and facebook that ended up getting played. If you have something you wanna hear played follow me on Facebook or Twitter and make a request when I solicit them next month.

As always, below you’ll find the track listing for the show. Please tell your friends and Facebook/Twitter followers about it, I’ll greatly appreciate it.

~ Autopsy IV (twitter/facebook)

Track Listing:

  1. Concrete Blonde – Happy Birthday [00.00.00]
  2. Cracker – Happy Birthday To Me [00.02.14]
  3. Jimi Hendrix – Happy Birthday [00.05.37]
  4. Autopsy IV Commentary * [00.07.50]
  5. The Black Keys – Next Girl [00.08.56]
  6. American Aquarium – Rattlesnake [00.11.59]
  7. Red Clay River – Rattlesnake Mountain [00.15.24]
  8. Autopsy IV Commentary * [00.18.52]
  9. Otis Gibbs – Joe Hill’s Ashes [00.20.39]
  10. JJ Grey & Mofro – On Palestine [00.24.00]
  11. Shannon McNally – Bohemian Wedding Song [00.28.22]
  12. Autopsy IV – Commentary * [00.34.02]
  13. I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch In The House – Ghost [00.36.11]
  14. Two Cow Garage – Postcards and Apologies [00.40.54]
  15. Gaslight Anthem – American Slang [00.45.54]
  16. Micah Schnabel – American Static [00.49.33]
  17. Autopsy IV Commentary * [00.52.30]
  18. The Morning Pages – With The Lord [00.54.52]
  19. NQ Arbuckle – Happy Birthday [00.58.08]

* All music heard underneath me talking this month was from Black Prairie‘s new album, Feast of the Hunters’ Moon.

Download this episode (right click and save)


If it seems like it was just last month I was last writing about American Aquarium, that’s ’cause it basically was.

I opened the piece about their last album with the following line

“American Aquarium come out of Raleigh, North Carolina with an indie-rock sound that has enough country swagger to it to keep this particular blogger engaged.”

Dances For The Lonely finds Caitlin Cary returning for backup vocals detail while Chris Stamey (Whiskeytown, Ben Folds Five, The Rosebuds) takes the producer role. On Dances For The Lonely American Aquarium seems to have forgone the indie sound for a more straight-forward roots rock feel.

If you’ll allow me to expound upon that for a moment…

I’m not, by any stretch of the imagination, a Springsteen fan. Matter of fact, my favorite Springsteen songs are when they’re sung by someone else. I know that’s sacrilege to say in this segment of the music world, but it’s the truth. With that said, on this album American Aquarium has a sound similar to how I feel Springsteen should sound in my mind’s ear. I dunno if that makes any sense but, for myself, it certainly makes for Essential Listening.

American Aquarium – City Lights
American Aquarium – Katherine Belle
American Aquarium – PBR Promenade

American Aquarium on myspace, Buy Dances For The Lonely


American Aquarium come out of Raleigh, North Carolina with an indie-rock sound that has enough country swagger to it to keep this particular blogger engaged. Their sophomore album, The Bible & The Bottle has been out for so long there really isn’t anything I could say about it that hasn’t already been said in other places where real professionals write, but I will say it’s pretty freakin’ awesome and you should check it out.

American Aquarium features a sound that’s been described as Whiskeytown meets Lucero (I’d add a touch of Roger Hoover when he was a Whiskeyhound instead of a Magpie) and on The Bible & The Bottle they embrace that comparison, going so far as to bring Whiskeytown’s producer Greg Elkins into produce it, getting Whiskeytown’s drummer Skillet Gilmore to do the artwork and even featuring Caitlin Cary on backing vocals on some of the tracks.

We’re kind of in a weird position with American Aquarium. I just found out about them a couple of months ago, and as a result we’re a year late talking about The Bible & The Bottle but we’re writing about them while they’re on the edge of releasing a new album, Dances for the Lonely, come April 25. The Whiskeytown connections continue to run deep on the new album, which finds Caitlin Cary returning for backup vocals detail while Chris Stamey (Whiskeytown, Ben Folds Five, The Rosebuds) takes the producer role. Hopefully the band doesn’t try to reinvent themselves on Dances for the Lonely and they continue to build on the sound they’ve already established.

American Aquarium – California
American Aquarium – Lover Too Late
American Aquarium – Monsters (Is it just me or does this song remind anyone else of the Nine Inch Nails track, Hurt?)

Johnny Cash – Hurt
Nine Inch Nails – Hurt

American Aquarium on myspace, Buy The Bible & The Bottle