Photo courtesy of American Aquarium

Southern Rock & Soul

From covers to originals, alt country American Aquarium will perform at the WOW Hall

Music with a little twang, a little folky and a whole lot of pedal to the medal: What started as a small band in Raleigh, North Carolina, has become a widely known music group touring the U.S. American Aquarium will take on California’s Stagecoach, one of the largest country music festivals in the world. But first, they will make their way to Eugene and take to the WOW Hall stage May 1. 

Singer, songwriter, guitarist and frontman of the band, BJ Barham formed the group in 2006. The band includes five other musicians including Shane Boeker, guitarist; Neil Jones, pedal steel player; Rhett Huffman, keyboardist; Ryan Van Fleet, drummer and Alden Hedges, bassist. The band has produced 10 albums, two-volume covers of ’90s and early 2000s country songs under the name Slappers, Bangers & Certified Twangers and numerous singles. Barham started the record label, Losing Side Records in 2020 and is the CEO. It has produced four of American Aquarium’s releases. 

In the summer of 2022, Losing Side Records produced Chicamacomico. The album ends with “All I Needed,” a song that speaks to the hope and growth of the band. Personal experiences inspired many of their songs, such as “The First Year.” It refers to dealing with the first year Barham went through after his mother’s death. The album takes a more instrumental and softer route than some of the band’s previous rock-oriented music. 

WOW Hall hosts American Aquarium May 1. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 day of show and are sold at University of Oregon ticket office, WOW Hall and A VIP package is available for $105.