Cody Canada was 16 years old when he arrived in Stillwater, Oklahoma. He found a creative nirvana of musicians who planted seeds that would stay with him for the rest of his life. Cody recalls, "I met Tom Skinner, Scott Evans, Bob Childers, Jimmy LaFave, Mike McClure, the Red Dirt Rangers and they were all playing this really, really good music. It was kind of in that same vibe as the Allman Brothers and The Band. But what came out of it was really diverse. There were more country acts like Jason Boland. The All American Rejects were the rock guys. Then you had the whole Red Dirt hippie thing… I didn’t even know what Red Dirt was until somebody told me. I got turned on to it all and it's stayed with me ever since."
Canada was front man for Cross Canadian Ragweed for fifteen years, where he tapped into those influences for their nine albums, four of which charted on Billboard's Top 10 Country Albums Chart. They sold over a million albums and played to sell-out crowds, bringing the term "Red Dirt" to the nation. When Cross Canadian Ragweed decided to part ways, Cody resurfaced with a mission in mind, to pay homage to the Red Dirt writers and music that were formative. The Departed's first priority was getting into the studio and cutting the Oklahoma tribute album that Cody had wanted to do for years. "This is Indian Land" came out in 2011, a 15-track "buffet of really kick-ass Okie songs," Canada noted.
In the business of music, many are called and many may try, but few cross the threshold of being able to say they are truly committed for the long haul. With the release of their latest studio album, Burn.Flicker.Die., American Aquarium is proving that they have graduated to that class of professional musicians that have made an undeniable commitment to their music and their fans.
American Aquarium's six years as a band have been a fast-moving blur of rubber on road, touring coast to coast through the states and Europe. Most nights of the year are spent far from their Raleigh homes, squinting out from bright stages at a growing legion of passionate fans who've followed them through the release of six albums that reflect a whirlwind of too many whiskey soaked nights, nameless women in smoky bars and fast living while your youth is in full bloom. But what happens when it all stops feeling good?
"Burn.Flicker.Die." is what has emerged from that scenario for this group of hard working players. After two years of writing, they journeyed to the legendary recording hub which gave birth to some of the greatest blues, country and rock records of all time: Muscle Shoals/Sheffield, AL. Recorded in eight days under the precise hand of friend/tour buddy Jason Isbell, the record is an aptly named milestone for the band, and their most painstaking effort to date. As a long-time Southern rock artisan, Isbell provided a weathered know-how in producing the record American Aquarium is proudest of. Described as a "consequence record" by vocalist BJ Barham, the band spent that week pushing out everything that's been haunting them: working for six years, watching buzz bands peak and die, and pining for their own payoff.