American Aquarium w/ David Ramirez

Sun Nov 27 2022

8:00 PM (Doors 7:00 PM)

The Basement East

917 Woodland St Nashville, TN 37206

$20 ADV / $25 DOS / $100 VIP

Ages 18+

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American Aquarium Pre-Show Meet & Greet Experience

  • One premium reserved ticket in the first rows -or- one general admission ticket to see American Aquarium live 
  • VIP early entry into the venue 
  • Exclusive meet & greet with American Aquarium 
  • Personal photograph with American Aquarium 
  • Access to a private pre-show soundcheck performance by American Aquarium 
  • Q&A session with American Aquarium 
  • One tour poster, autographed by American Aquarium 
  • Commemorative meet & greet laminate 
  • Merchandise shopping opportunity before doors open to public
  • Limited availability 


This show currently has no COVID safety requirements for attendees. This is subject to change. If this changes we will be sure to update this page as well as notify all ticket buyers via email.

American Aquarium w/ David Ramirez

  • American Aquarium

    American Aquarium

    Alternative Country

    Anywhere off Hatteras Island, Chicamacomico sounds made up, like some wine-drunk incantation or maybe a tongue twister—try to say it ten times fast. But as a former life-saving station built in 1874 on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the name is perhaps the perfect metaphor and title for American Aquarium’s ninth studio album. 

    The Old North State is tattooed on the bones of front man BJ Barham, who has never lived more than two hours from his hometown in Reidsville. But, more so, what better to represent an album about loss than a place built to save the lives of shipwrecked mariners and passengers? Song as a sort of salvation is something Barham celebrates in, “All I Needed,” the final track on the record, and this speaks to what he hopes this album can do for the band’s established and growing fanbase. Sometimes when we’re drowning, music keeps us afloat.

    “When these massive life changes happen, we feel like we are the only ones facing these problems. Talking about them openly, giving them a name and dragging them into the light makes them seem a little less daunting, a little more conquerable,” Barham said. “I hope this album serves as a salve to anyone who has experienced this sort of loss over the last few years. I hope it makes them feel a little less isolated and disconnected. I want them to know that someone out there is going through the exact same shit and that they are not alone.”

    For anyone who’s followed the band over the last sixteen years, Chicamacomico feels stripped down and bare-boned in its instrumentation. Far from that early blend of Southern and punk rock, there are few if any moments where the band floors the pedal and leaves the tires smoking in its wake. The orchestration here is dialed back leaving the lyrics to stand naked front and center. It’s reminiscent of Rockingham, Barham’s 2016 solo album, and this may be in part a result of producer Brad Cook, who produced both albums as well as the band’s 2015 record Wolves. But it’s likely more a sign of the maturing sound and expanding scope of a songwriter now fully comfortable and confident in his own skin.

    “When you are young, you want to play everything loud and fast and I think that comes, at least in part, from uncertainty. I hadn't fully found my voice back in those early days so the louder and faster the songs were the less chance someone could actually hear what I was saying. The more comfortable I got with my ‘voice,’ the more confident I became in my lyrical ability. I'm not afraid of the lyrics sitting way out front anymore because I am confident in the songwriting. The band can still cut loose and take over a song, but they aren't expected to do all the heavy lifting these days.”

    With tracks tackling personal loss—the loss of his mother and grandmother, the loss of a child, the loss of youth and time and the creative spark that drives him—there was plenty of heavy lifting to be done. Barham has never been one to back away from the darkness or the more difficult subject matter. In fact, that has always seemed to be the place where he found his footing and thrived.

        In “The First Year,” he recounts the loss of his mother and the first year without her. It’s a truly brilliant piece of songwriting using holidays as steppingstones to work across a span of time, but somehow he manages to never pull a punch or shy away from his own vulnerability. He sings of his father experiencing that loss, “like a castle made of sand, I watched that mountain of a man fall apart when they laid to rest his queen.”

        Likewise, “The Things We Lost Along The Way,” drives head on into themes of mortality and regret, the nostalgia that so often accompanies growing old. With harmonies by Kate Rhudy, Barham’s vocals and lyrics sound as if they could have been written and sung by Townes Van Zandt, all the way down to that drop in tone with the last word of the line. And much like Townes, Barham has always seemed to walk headfirst into that darkness with fearless and unshaken tenacity.

    “The darkest corners of my writing is where I think folks find the most light and that is a really powerful feeling as a writer. It's what allows me to operate in that world and not get bogged down,” he explained. “Knowing that I'm going into the dark place not just for me, but for anyone else that is willing to listen, makes it far easier to face those dark emotions head on.”

        The subjects remain heavy across most of the record. With “Waking Up The Echoes,” he writes about losing an old friend to suicide. And yet somehow he always manages to find balance. The light always seems to steady the dark. At times it’s full on, as is the case with, “Little Things,” a playful tune about transitioning to a life as a stay at home father. Other times the joy and hope are simpler and more subtle, such as the final lines of “The Hardest Thing,” a song centered around a grieving husband’s conversations with his late wife: “Before you go, one last thing, the flowers you planted in the spring, even though my thumb ain’t green, I think they’re going to make it.”

        Few songwriters swing the hammer as hard and precise as Barham and it is a testament to the humility and trust of his bandmates—Shane Boeker, guitar; Neil Jones, pedal steel; Rhett Huffman, keys; Ryan Van Fleet, drums, and Alden Hedges on bass—that they take the back seat and allow his storytelling to drive us home. With a heavy tour the rest of the year and a backlist of brass-knuckled bangers that have always burned like wildfire, each will surely have their fair share of time at the wheel. 

    But as for this record, be thankful for the subtlety, for the stillness and for the quiet. Be thankful for the space it provides us to simply feel human. For ten songs, Chicamacomico will hold your head above water.

     

    BJ couldn’t stay. But he couldn’t really leave, either: he’s still singing about the lessons, stories, and lives that define rural America––and him.

     

    “I moved to the big city to go to college and fell in love with music,” BJ says. “But half the songs on our record are about small towns––little pieces of my childhood. I’ve had moments where it turns out a piece of broken English my father repeated twice a week is the most accurate way to say something. So I put it in a song.”

     

    American Aquarium’s seventh studio album Things Change offers the band’s finest collection of folk-infused Southern rock-and-roll to date. Stacked with BJ’s signature storytelling––always deeply personal but also instantly relatable––the record questions and curses current events, shares one man’s intimate evolution, and leaves listeners with a priceless gift: hope.

     

    “In my early 20s, I was not as hopeful,” BJ says. “Now, as I’m getting ready to become a father, I think I have to be hopeful––especially with the situation our country is in now. For her sake, I have to be positive.” He pauses. “Her” is his daughter, due in the spring of 2018. BJ adds, “Being self-aware has always been a blessing and a curse. But that’s what’s always made my songwriting relatable to people. I don’t hold back. I’m almost too honest.”

     

    BJ’s candor has fueled American Aquarium’s runaway appeal, visible most clearly in consistently sold-out shows across the country and throughout Europe - between 200 and 250 dates a year.  Much has changed for the band and BJ since their acclaimed last effort, Wolves. In 2017, every American Aquarium member save BJ quit the group. American Aquarium has featured about 30 players since BJ founded the outfit in 2006, and while each member has left indelible marks, the band has always been anchored by the literary songs and sometimes roaring, sometimes whispering, drawl of BJ Barham. BJ’s personal life also underwent seismic shifts: He got sober. He got married. Soon, he’ll be a dad.

     

    Featuring a new band lineup that includes Shane Boeker on lead guitar, drummer Joey Bybee, bassist Ben Hussey, and Adam Kurtz on pedal steel and electric guitar, as well as a reinvigorated frontman in BJ, Things Change is American Aquarium’s first release on a label after selling thousands of records on their own. “As an artist, your goal is for the newest thing you do to be better than the last. You’re slowly whittling away the bullshit to try and get to the truth,” BJ says. “With this album, I learned how to cut some of that fat so that it’s just truth. It’s our best record.”

     

    Recorded at 3CG Records in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Things Change was produced by Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter John Fulbright and features cameos from Americana standouts including John Moreland and Jamie Lin Wilson. Brazen album opener “The World is on Fire” is a richly layered rock-and-roll anthem that documents BJ and his wife’s stunned reaction to the last presidential election. Emotional and conversational, the song taps into widespread feelings of confusion and fear: “She said, ‘What are we going to do? What’s this world coming to?’ / For the first time in my whole life, I stood there speechless.” But what begins as despair builds into defiant faith, as BJ growls a call to action to cap off one of his favorite songs he’s ever written. “I’m complaining about the state of things, and then the third verse almost serves as a challenge to myself: hey, you’re in charge of another human being. You can create change,” he says.

     

    Driving rock-and-roller “Crooked + Straight” explores the small-town consequences of questioning religion, and the tightness of family in the face of one member’s rejection. His father’s advice anchors the song. “I come from a blue-collar family. I’m the only one who didn’t go into farming. I learned if you want something, you have to go out and take it. You can’t expect anything from anybody,” BJ says. “You can only go out there and work harder. My dad always said you can outwork anybody else.” Love for hard work and the people who carry it out appears repeatedly throughout Things Change. Guitar-heavy “Tough Folks” is a snarling ode to those with dirt under their fingernails, while bass- and pedal-steel-infused “Work Conquers All” spins a tale in praise and pursuit of Oklahoma’s state motto.

     

    The album’s love songs are the kind of achingly beautiful that only comes with maturity and a willingness to expose one’s own flaws. Haunting “Shadows of You” recalls a lover’s flight as the protagonist longs for what he let get away. Gorgeous “Till the Final Curtain Falls” celebrates loyalty and pledges endless devotion. The moving title track takes an often doleful topic––people’s tendency to change––and turns it on its head, tracing BJ’s personal growth and recognizing his now-wife’s steadfast love.

     

    BJ’s other two favorite tracks are album standouts. Moving “When We Were Younger Men” addresses the break-up of American Aquarium head on. As BJ professes love for his former bandmates over stripped down acoustic guitar, his voice is honeyed and deep. “It’s an open letter to five guys who I spent eight years of my life with seeing the entire world,” BJ says. “I think anyone who has ever had to walk away from a friendship or has had somebody walk away from them will relate to the song.” Stunner “One Day at a Time” is self-perceptive and vulnerable, detailing BJ’s battles with himself. Even within his career full of well-written gems, the song is a towering accomplishment.

     

    “At the end of the day, if you’re not writing songs to affect other people’s lives, you’re in it for the wrong reasons,” BJ says, reflecting on the new album, where he’s been, and where American Aquarium is headed. “Money may come and go. You may never get fame. But if you sit down and write songs to affect people, you can do it your whole life and be happy.”

     

  • David Ramirez

    David Ramirez

    Contemporary Folk

    David was born in Houston, TX and grew up in a suburb called Sugarland. Although he took piano lessons as a kid, it was baseball that was his first love. He played baseball until his junior year in high school, when upon changing schools was invited by his new fellow classmates to audition for a school play.  He got the part and realized how much he enjoyed performing.  This new love of performing motivated him to pick up an acoustic guitar and begin writing songs.
     
    While attending college in Dallas, he formed the David Ramirez band, an acoustic folk-pop act. After receiving local acclaim for his songwriting, he decided to move to Nashville to try his hand at becoming a professional songwriter. After about a year in Nashville, he realized the Music Row songwriting game was not his cup of tea. And after being fired from his job at a coffee shop, he packed his belongings into his Kia Rio car and hit the road. Without a booking agent or manager, he toured from city to city playing open mics, house shows and dive bars…anywhere that would pay enough money to make it to the next town. He got by on the help of strangers, new friends and local songwriters, sleeping on couches, in his car at truck stops or sometimes not at all. He was looking for something…for those experiences you cannot have in a college environment or working the same job every day. He was looking to experience life and humanity.
     
    It was those experiences that inspired the songs on his first solo release, the 2007 EP, Birmingham, which included an early solo recording of the fan favorite “Fires”.
     
    In 2009 he returned to Nashville to record his first full length album, American Soil.  This album and his constant touring helped build a small fanbase in most major cities throughout America. In 2011, the full band recording of “Fires” from this album was featured in the popular Grey’s Anatomy spin-off show Private Practice.
     
    2011 saw the release of his second EP entitled STRANGETOWN, inspired by his experiences in his new home of Austin, TX. The song “Shoeboxes” received much critical and fan acclaim and for the first time he began to receive national press and attention. PASTE magazine tweeted after the release of the EP “David Ramirez – the best damn songwriter you don’t know yet”.  He was also asked to open a few shows for The Civil Wars during this period, which also helped raise his profile.
     
    In August 2012, David released his second full length album, Apologies, which entered the Billboard Folk Charts at #4 and received rave reviews from The New York Times and PASTE. A co-headline tour with Noah Gundersen and a series of shows supporting Gregory Alan Isakov helped raise David’s touring profile during this time. He also began to sell out venues on his own in cities like Austin, Dallas, Atlanta and Nashville.
     
    2013 saw the release of his third EP, The Rooster, which featured the fan favorite “The Bad Days”. Go to any shows of David’s and almost the entire crowd will sing the chorus to the song.  All releases thus far had been completely self-funded and self-released.
     
    In 2015, FABLES was released. This marked the first time an album was released with a label partner, Nashville-based Thirty Tigers. And also for the first time, David had a proper budget to record an album and hire a band to tour with. The album was produced in Seattle by friend Noah Gundersen. The release gained critical acclaim from NPR, The Wall Street Journal and Stereogum. The lead single, “Harder to Lie” was a big hit on Spotify, being featured on New Music Friday and peaking at #9 US Viral Hits. It currently has almost 5 million streams and has become a favorite of fans. The FABLES Tour saw many sell out shows including for the first time, cities like Toronto, Seattle, Los Angeles, Oklahoma City and many more. He also sold out his very first UK show at Hoxton Square Bar in London on this album cycle, as well as receiving airplay and accolades by BBC’s Bob Harris. During this album cycle he also made his first major festival appearances at Shaky Knees in Atlanta and Free Press in Houston.
     
    In the Fall of 2016, David embarked on the BOOTLEG TOUR. A solo tour of 53 cities in North America over 2 months, where…inspired by the Grateful Dead, each show was recorded in full by a sound engineer and offered as a free download link to any person who purchased a ticket to the show. “Buy a Ticket, Get a Download” was the credo of the tour. No opening act, just David playing almost 2 hours every night for 53 nights. The tour was a huge hit with fans, and one that will occur every few years moving forward.
     
    The new album is David’s 4th full length, entitled We’re Not Going Anywhere and is quite the leap forward, sonically. It’s an expansive sound influenced by some of David’s favorite 80’s bands like The Cars and Journey, and lyrically reflective of the intense political landscape in America and his bi-racial viewpoints . It releases September 8, 2017 via Thirty Tigers.

Please correct the information below.

Select ticket quantity.

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Select Tickets

limit 8 per person
G.A.
General Admission
GA
$20.00
VIP

$100.00

Delivery Method

ticketFast
Will Call

Terms & Conditions

This event is 18 and over. Any ticket holder unable to present valid identification indicating that they are at least 18 years of age will not be admitted to this event, and will not be eligible for a refund.

ALL PATRONS MUST BRING A VALID FORM OF IDENTIFICATION.

WE ONLY ACCEPT TICKETWEB TICKETS.

BACKPACKS ARE NOT ALLOWED IN THE VENUE
Most shows are standing room only.
Choosing ticketFast ticket delivery will mean your tickets will be sent to your inbox within 48 hours of showtime, no earlier.
Handicap accommodations can be arranged.
ALL ALL AGES and 18+ SHOWS ARE NO RE-ENTRY

American Aquarium w/ David Ramirez

Sun Nov 27 2022 8:00 PM

(Doors 7:00 PM)

The Basement East Nashville TN
American Aquarium w/ David Ramirez

$20 ADV / $25 DOS / $100 VIP Ages 18+

American Aquarium Pre-Show Meet & Greet Experience

  • One premium reserved ticket in the first rows -or- one general admission ticket to see American Aquarium live 
  • VIP early entry into the venue 
  • Exclusive meet & greet with American Aquarium 
  • Personal photograph with American Aquarium 
  • Access to a private pre-show soundcheck performance by American Aquarium 
  • Q&A session with American Aquarium 
  • One tour poster, autographed by American Aquarium 
  • Commemorative meet & greet laminate 
  • Merchandise shopping opportunity before doors open to public
  • Limited availability 


This show currently has no COVID safety requirements for attendees. This is subject to change. If this changes we will be sure to update this page as well as notify all ticket buyers via email.

Please correct the information below.

Select ticket quantity.

Complete the security check.

Select Tickets

Ages 18+
limit 8 per person
G.A.
General Admission
GA
$20.00
VIP
$100.00

Delivery Method

ticketFast
Will Call

Fees & Charges

Order Fee
$0.00 An order fee applies.

Terms & Conditions

This event is 18 and over. Any ticket holder unable to present valid identification indicating that they are at least 18 years of age will not be admitted to this event, and will not be eligible for a refund. ALL PATRONS MUST BRING A VALID FORM OF IDENTIFICATION.

WE ONLY ACCEPT TICKETWEB TICKETS.

BACKPACKS ARE NOT ALLOWED IN THE VENUE
Most shows are standing room only.
Choosing ticketFast ticket delivery will mean your tickets will be sent to your inbox within 48 hours of showtime, no earlier.
Handicap accommodations can be arranged.
ALL ALL AGES and 18+ SHOWS ARE NO RE-ENTRY