In the lush tobacco fields of North Carolina where BJ Barham was raised, people work hard. Families stay nearby, toiling and growing together. BJ loves those farms and his tiny Reidsville hometown, but he had to spread his wings. He couldn't stay, but he couldn't really leave, either: he's still singing about the lessons, stories, and lives that define rural America. Recorded at 3CG Records in Tulsa, OK, American Aquarium's seventh album, Things Change was produced by Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter John Fullbright and features cameos from John Moreland and Jamie Lin Wilson. Stacked with BJ's signature storytelling – always deeply personal but also instantly relatable, it questions and curses current events, shares one man's intimate evolution, and leaves listeners with a priceless gift: hope.
Much has changed for American Aquarium since their acclaimed last effort, Wolves. In 2017, every band member save Barham quit the group. American Aquarium has featured about thirty 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. 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.