Loading Events

« All Events

BJ Barham (from American Aquarium) at The Wax
Thursday, June 22

June 22 @ 8:00 pm

 

 

Doors open at 7:30 PM
$15 in advance / $18 at the door

 

Sponsored by:

 

B.J. Barham was a long way from home when the tragedy happened.

On November 13, 2015, the singer-songwriter—raised in a small North Carolina town called Reidsville—was in the middle of his fourth European tour with American Aquarium, the rising alt-country act he’d led for nearly a decade. They were in Belgium, less than two hours from Paris, when bad news began to arrive: a series of terrorist attacks, including one in a rock club, had left more than 100 dead. Family members, friends, and the fans American Aquarium had amassed from so many years on the road immediately reached out, making sure the band had been far away.

“The onslaught of text messages, voicemails and everything that came in the next day sparked something in me,” Barham remembers. “In the next two days, the entire record was written.”

The record he’s talking about is Rockingham, Barham’s remarkable and intensely personal solo debut. Not long after the wave of well wishes had passed, Barham found himself piecing together composites of people he’d known since childhood, of those folks and places who had impacted his life in fundamental ways. He sang into his cell phone and scribbled in notebooks, stealing away for quiet moments in order to put the melodies and characters floating through his mind into song.

The shock of the moment and the distance from home seemed to give Barham a crucial perspective on the moments and circumstances that had helped shape him. Wolves, American Aquarium’s much-lauded 2015 breakthrough, had contained Barham’s most honest, vulnerable statements to date. But these songs took the next step, allowing Barham to share stories about those around him. In “O’Lover,” he portrays a hard-working farmer forced to make some desperate decisions to support the ones he loves. In “Reidsville,” named for the place he’d called his home until relocating to North Carolina’s capital, he immortalized beautiful, sweet, doomed souls, stuck in love in the sort of small towns that are disintegrating all across America. You needn’t have been to Reidsville to recognize these elegantly written, expertly realized protagonists.

“This is the first record I’ve ever made that’s not autobiographical—it’s fictional narrative in a very real place,” Barham says. “These songs are human condition stories set in my hometown, Reidsville.”

Barham made these songs his new priority. Not long after he returned stateside, he asked Bradley Cook, the musician and mentor who had co-produced Wolves, to hear them. By afternoon’s end, they had hatched the plan to make Rockingham. Two months later, on January 31, Barham returned from another American Aquarium tour.

 

 

On Monday, he and the band he’d built to record Rockingham—himself, Cook, Cook’s brother and multi-instrumentalist Phil Cook, drummer Kyle Keegan, American Aquarium standbys Ryan Johnson and Whit Wright—met for the first time. On Tuesday and Wednesday, they rehearsed. And on Thursday and Friday, they cut all eight songs at Durham’s Overdub Lane. They mixed the results over the weekend, between the sold-out hometown shows and various festivities of American Aquarium’s annual pilgrimage, Roadtrip to Raleigh. Cialis The whirlwind kept the songs simple and the recordings human, reflecting a reality much bigger and less perfect than the vacuum of a recording studio.

These tunes, after all, didn’t need much tampering. Rockingham puts its scenes and scenarios front and center, the beautiful grain and twang of Barham’s voice bringing it all to life. He limns lifelong romance and instantaneous tragedy during the paradoxically heartbreaking, heart-mending “Unfortunate Kind” and details the disappointments and dreams of the blue-collar laborer with “American Tobacco Company.” With its acoustic guitars and pealing organs, ragged vocals and rugged characters, Rockingham is a stunning, personal portrait of small-town America, easily identifiable and familiar.

For the album’s sole autobiographical moment, Barham, now happily married and sober, penned a letter of sound advice and Southern attitude to his daughter-to-be, “Madeline.” It’s too personal to fall under a roots-rock purview, too singular to be swallowed by a larger situation. Like all of Rockingham, it’s not the sound of Barham stepping away from American Aquarium but instead stepping confidently into the thoughts, stories, and feelings of his own thirty years.

 


 

Details

Date:
June 22
Time:
8:00 pm

Venue

The Wax
215 W Michigan Ave
Jackson, MI 49201 United States
Phone:
517-782-3221




What do I wear?
The range is wide, some in suits and dresses, some in jeans, whatever you find comfortable.

When do I applaud?
This is tricky. The tradition is that you wait until the conclusion of the work, last movement in the case of symphonies, concertos, etc. On the other hand, no pun intended, you should feel comfortable expressing your response to the music whenever you feel moved to do so. Italian opera goers cheer or boo in the middle of arias if they have the urge. A safe out is to wait until others start.

How much do I need to know about classical music to appreciate a concert?
No courses necessary. Music is the language of the spirit as much as the mind. The universal language speaks directly to the listener, no interpreter necessary, enjoy! For a more in depth look at the music being performed, all JSO ticket holders are entitled to attend the complimentary JSO pre-concert lecture “Backstage Glimpses” hosted by Dr. Bruce Brown, JSO Composer in Residence. Backstage Glimpses takes place at 6:30 pm preceding each subscription concert. Dr. Brown leads a lively, enlightening and informative look at the evening’s repertoire. Guest Artists are generally present to give a brief talk on the music they will be performing and to answer audience questions. Backstage Glimpses are held backstage in the Green Room. Entry is through the side door south of the main Potter Center entrance and is noted by a sign as you approach the building.

Can I bring my child to an evening cncert?
Children are welcome to attend all our events provided that they are supervised by an adult. Every child must have a ticket. For a family with small children we encourage you to attend a rehearsal. Phone the JSO office, (517) 782-3221 x117 for details.

Is the JSO a 501(c)3?
Yes! That means any donation you make to the JSO is a tax deductible donation to the full extent provided by law.

How can I make a contribution?
The ways are numerous including annual fund, endowment, planned giving, volunteering and several more. Please click here for more information.

Can I take photographs during the concert?
Photographing or taping JSO concerts is strictly prohibited. No recording devices or cameras are permitted without special authorization from the JSO.

Can I rent the JSO Downtown Music Center for functions?
Yes, our facility at 215 W. Michigan has proved to be an excellent venue for recitals, business meetings and even memorial services. Please contact us to learn more.

Can I hire orchestra musicians to play at an event?
Some of our musicians do perform at weddings and other special functions. Please contact the Orchestra Personnel Manager at: jso2007@jacksonsymphony.org.

If I arrive to a concert late, will I be seated immediately?
The JSO makes every attempt to begin concerts on time. In deference to the comfort and listening pleasure of the audience in the hall, latecomers will not be seated until after the conclusion of the first work on the program, and there will be no seating break during any work. Patrons who leave the hall before or during a work will not be reseated until after the work is completed. Your usher will alert you as soon as it is possible to be seated. House lights are dimmed to indicate that the concert is about to begin.

How can I find out if a concert has been cancelled due to inclement weather?
To find out if a scheduled JSO performance has been cancelled due to inclement weather, hazardous roads, power outages and the like, call the box office at 517-782-3221 x117.

I’ve misplaced my tickets for tomorrow’s concert, what should I do?
If subscription tickets are lost, call (517)782-3221 x117. The JSO will verify the purchase through its records. Subscribers may then pick up an entry pass at the box office prior to the concert. These passes cannot be exchanged. The lost ticket policy does not apply to tickets already exchanged. (If they call the day before the concert, we write passes which the guest picks up at our “will call” table at JCC after 6:30 PM the night of the concert.)

Can I donate my unused tickets?
Ticket holders unable to use or exchange their tickets are encouraged to call the JSO Box Office at (517)782-3221, ext. 117, at least 24 hours in advance of the concert. The value of each ticket can be used as a tax-deductible contribution. The JSO will send a donation letter and a CD of the missed performance to the donor.

Can I leave my cellphone on during a concert?
Cellular phones, pagers and alarm watches should be turned off while in the hall. Patrons should ask for the House Manager to report an emergency during a concert, or to make special arrangements to receive emergency phone calls during a concert. The JSO appreciates the audience’s cooperation in avoiding any extraneous sounds during the concerts. The hall microphones used to record the orchestra are extremely sensitive and will even record the sound of a wristwatch chime.

Does the JSO provide discounted ticket prices for groups?
Special rates are available for groups of 10 or more. Call (517) 782-3221 for details.

Can I do volunteer work for the JSO?
To volunteer for fund-raising projects and other exciting events, visit our volunteer page by clicking here or contact the JSO office at (517) 782-3221.

Where could I dine before a concert?
Several fine restaurants are located in Jackson;

How do I get my band or myself booked to play at The Wax?
We get lots of requests from artists who would like to play at The Wax and appreciate your interest. We try to book a variety of local, regional, national and international acts for our stage. If you are a touring act with an established audience who would like to headline at The Wax, or if you are a local or regional artist who would be interested in an opening slot or in appearing in one of our showcases, please send an email to affinity@jacksonsymphony.org to inquire about booking opportunities. Please include in your email links to your music, your social media links, a brief biography, a brief tour history (local and/or regional/national), contact information (email address & phone number) and target routing dates. We do our best to review and respond to all requests in a timely basis, but please understand if it takes us a while to reply.

I’m coming in from out of town, is there any place to eat close by?”
A full list of restaurants in the Jackson area can be found at the Experience Jackson website. Options within walking distance of The Wax include Bella Note, Chilango’s Burrito Bar, Chilango’s Chop House, Grand River Brewery, Night Light, and The Chase Sports Bar.

How about a hotel that’s nearby?
There are many hotel options within easy driving distance of The Wax. A full list of Jackson area hotels can be found at the Experience Jackson website.

What time does the concert start?
Unless otherwise noted on our website, all of our concerts start at 8:00. Doors to The Wax will open 30 minutes prior to the start of the show.

I’d like to bring my child(ren) to the concert, do I need to buy a ticket for them?
We think music is a universal experience and should be shared by those of all ages, so children are welcome at The Wax, but they do need a ticket unless they are small enough to sit in a lap during the concert. Also, since our room provides an intimate listening experience, we ask that children be able to sit quietly for the duration of the show (generally 75 to 90 minutes).

Where should I park?
There is plentiful street parking around our building and there are also Jackson City Parking Lots available on West Michigan Avenue, just east of South Jackson and just west of Mechanic Streets or on Pearl Street, just east of Blackstone and just west of South Jackson Streets.

I’ve bought tickets, but now can’t come to the concert; can I get a refund?
Unfortunately we are unable to offer refunds for concert tickets.

The weather is really bad; will the concert still take place?
In the rare event that a concert is cancelled we will immediately post a notification on our website along with any information about possibly rescheduling or refund information.

I (or my business) would like to be involved in the Affinity Series; are sponsorship opportunities available?
Sponsorship opportunities are available at many different levels. For more information, please click here to see our Support page.

We have special seating needs, is The Wax accessible?
The Wax is fully accessible. If you know you are coming to the show and you have accessibility needs, please contact us in advance so that we can make sure you are accommodated.

Are you on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter?
We are on Facebook and Twitter. Please like and follow us to stay up-to-date on everything that is happening.