Americana Roots: Backyard Tire Fire

Americana Roots highlights the freshest and most original Americana and bluegrass from across the pond in the US.  It covers everything from brand-new, just out of the box bands, to cult favourites, to established acts who have yet to reach the UK’s shores.  Backyard Tire Fire is an analog trip through a mix of Uncle Tupelo’s alt country and Neil Young’s ’70s masterpieces, with honest feelings and a longing for home that are brought to life with a storyteller’s touch and a guitar god’s muscle.

Name: Backyard Tire Fire.

For Fans Of: Tom Petty, Cracker, Uncle Tupelo

Hometown: Bloomington, Illinois, USA.

Band Members: Edward David Anderson (guitar, vocals), Matt Anderson (bass), Scott Tipping (guitar) and John Ganser (drums)


Discography:  ‘Live at the Georgia Theatre’ (2002), ‘Backyard Tire Fire’ (2003), ‘Bar Room Semantics’ (2005), ‘Skin and Bones’ (2006), ‘Vagabonds and Hooligans’ (2007), ‘Sick of Debt’ (2008), ‘The Places We Lived’ (2008), ‘Good to Be’ (2010), ‘Black Dirt Blue Sky’ EP (2021)

Background:  Following a ten-year hiatus Backyard Tire Fire have returned with a raucous new single, ‘Alejandro Escovedo’ and forthcoming EP ‘Black Dirt  Blue Sky’.  The single details a surrealistic encounter with the iconic singer/songwriter after whom it’s titled.  “‘Alejandro Escovedo’ was the first tune I wrote after becoming a father, which is funny because it’s hard to believe I ever got into a deep enough sleep to dream at that point,” explains Backyard Tire Fire’s Edward David Anderson. “I don’t remember much, but I did recall it taking place in the desert and Alejandro sort of floating over, giving me a hug and telling me it would be OK. I assume he was talking about having a child for the first time and the emotions that went with it. I was a bag of nerves and the dream helped calm me. I’ve leaned on his music for a long time. It’s real and it’s raw and it’s comforting.”

The band’s return after its decade long break was a welcome return for the Midwest rockers who have existed in that hazy area between Uncle Tupelo’s alt country soul, Pavement’s guitar freak-outs, and Cracker’s inventive word-play, all delivered with a hint of Crazy Horse.  The band formed in Asheville, North Carolina in 2001 before relocating to Bloomington, Illinois.   They received immediate praise for their raucous live show, which had these Midwesterners sounding like a drunkenly angry Tom Petty crawling out of a Florida swamp.  Before their hiatus they released seven studio albums that ran the gamut from their raw self-titled in 2003 to 2007’s ‘Vagabonds & Hooligans’ that was dominated by Anderson’s guitar to 2008’s ‘The Places We Lived’ that was birthed from a quieter place and featured the majority of songs were written on piano, an instrument Anderson admits to not being wholly comfortable with.  Backyard Tire Fire’s music resembles Neil Young’s ’70s masterpieces, the ones Anderson loves so much, with their honest feelings and longing for home that are brought to life with a storyteller’s touch and a guitar god’s muscle.

Backyard Tire Fire’s new EP is reminiscence of the best of what they do and an immediate return of the band’s undeniable energy.  “This collection of songs tells a story of redemption and perseverance, of second chances,” explains Anderson.  “The pandemic even tried to foil it, but we wouldn’t have it. We hunkered down and put this beautiful recording together in home studios throughout Illinois and beyond.  Hearing some of those older tunes I had written and cared so deeply about made me want to play them again, but it was the new material that really excited me.  I had a strong urge to make music with my brother again. So we called our old pal and touring guitar player, brought in the drummer that I had been playing with the previous five years, and Backyard Tire Fire was reborn.”

What They Sound Like:

About Tim Newby 59 Articles
Author of books, writer of words, enjoyer of good times. Often found with a beer in hand and barefoot at a festival somewhere. Author of 'Bluegrass in Baltimore: The Hard Drivin' Sound & Its Legacy' (2015), 'Leftover Salmon: Thirty Years of Festival! (2019). New book 'Pete Browning: The Life & Troubled Times of a Forgotten Legend' due out in 2023. Follow him on twitter @Tim_Newby9 .
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