Friday, August 19, 2016

Big Barn Burning - Acres and Acres ep (1988, Pine Marten)

Their homebase may have been in Boston (or thereabouts), but with such pronounced Americana leanings you'd easily mistake Big Barn Burning as denizens of the Midwest.  Not aggro enough to be deemed cowpunk, but ever so slightly deficient in the twang department, BBB found a niche on college radio, eventually signing to national indie imprint Resonance for a 1990 full length, Topping the Orchard.  A music scribe for the Albany based Metroland entertainment sheet summed these fellows up as follow.

Somebody once said that Big Barn Burning were what it'd sound like if Uncle Tupelo grew up in New England; and that's not wholly off the mark. But where Tupelo drew from the folk and native blues of the agrarian South and Midwest, Big Barn Burning seemed inspired and imbued, not with the dread of endless toil and suffering, but with the explosive, joyful color of Northeast autumn and a "harvest's in" intoxication. Their live shows easily, sweatily, chaotically, ecstatically earned the band's moniker.

I'm partial to Acres more linear rock salvos "Coulter of the Moon" and "Coureurs du Bois," both cutting a ballsy, spirited swath in league with some of their contemporaries who put Minneapolis on the map.  The record concludes with guitarsy, indie rock renderings of two old-timey rural standards, "Boll Weevil" and "Sourwood Mountain," performed live on WERS.

01. The Ploughshare & the Snare Drum
02. Brand New Day
03. Coulter Moon
04. Coureurs du Bois
05. Boll Weevil
06. Sourwood Mountain


Jim H. said...

I remember BBB vaguely, in fact I think one of the guys on the band was named Matt, and he auditioned for a band i was playing in at the time, before this of course!!!

Dougal said...

Hi, any chance you have any releases by the Go Team? The Archer Come Sparrow tape was around a few years ago but is gone now...
Thanks for posting all kinds of wilfully obscure releases (no-one else posts Simple Machines releases these days).

Unknown said...

Hi Jim H,
There were actually two Matts in the band. I married one of them! BBB is having their music remastered. Just a few days ago, Matt E started a Facebook page for the band. Matt P is in a band called The College Farm. They play infrequently in Upstate NY. **Sheila

Unknown said...

It's Coulter Brook, not Coulter Moon.:)

Unknown said...

I have this record. Was friends with the band when I lived in Boston. Sent them mixtapes while they were on tour including everything from Jules Shear to Aaron Copland. They sent me a postcard, Matt P. wrote "Mail more Copland! We're heading for the Big Country!" Yes, it's "Coulter Brook," duh! Please correct this. Great tunes, great live show.

Unknown said...

That definitely sounds like something Matt would write. **Sheila