American Aquarium’s B.J. Barham at Lincoln Theatre
Last fall, Raleigh’s American Aquarium was on the road in Europe when terrorists struck Paris with attacks that left 130 dead and hundreds more injured. That flipped a switch in B.J. Barham, who went on a writing binge that yielded up his new solo album “Rockingham.” American Aquarium has always had a streak of Bruce Springsteen-style heartland populism, and “Rockingham” takes that one step further with a move akin to Springsteen’s stark “Nebraska.” Barham goes deep within himself for as personal a set of songs as he’s ever written, steeped in memories of his seen-better-days hometown of Reidsville. The subject matter is mostly autobiographical, but even the storylines that are obviously fictional – the aged widower’s lament “Unfortunate Kind,” the love letter to a still-hypothetical daughter “Madeline” – ring so true that it’s all of a piece. Sympathetic, spare production from Megafaun/Hiss Golden Messenger’s Brad Cook frames each song perfectly, with Barham’s raw voice in the spotlight. Barham will give “Rockingham” its sendoff at 8 p.m. Saturday at Raleigh’s Lincoln Theatre. Also on the bill are David Ramirez and SUSTO’s Justin Osborne. Tickets are $15-$25. See lincolntheatre.com for details.
- Brian Wilson, the once-and-forever Beach Boy who was utterly sublime at Durham’s Carolina Theatre last November, returns to the Triangle to play “Pet Sounds” at Raleigh’s Memorial Auditorium Friday.
- Also Friday, rising Americana band Yarn is at Durham’s Motorco Music Hall while Melissa Swingle Duo plays the Back Room of Carrboro’s Cat’s Cradle.
- Saturday brings the great Gillian Welch to Raleigh’s N.C. Museum of Art and the Honeycutters to The Cary Theater for a 6 String Cafe show.
- O.A.R. jams into the night Sunday at Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater.
- Two proud sons of Atlanta play weeknight shows here: Butch Walker at the Lincoln on Tuesday and Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ on Wednesday at Chapel Hill’s Local 506.
- And Thursday brings Todd Snider’s Hard Working Americans to Saxapahaw’s Haw River Ballroom, and still-at-it ‘90s alt-rock duo Local H to the Cradle.