Backyard Tire Fire shares "Alejandro Escovedo" (listen/share). An anthemic country-rock rave-up, the track details a surrealistic encounter with the iconic singer/songwriter after whom it's titled. It's the second single to be released from the Midwestern alt-country band's forthcoming EP 'Black Dirt Blue Sky' due September 10 via Black Dirt Records/Royal Potato Family. The five song collection marks the first new music from Backyard Tire Fire in 11 years.
"'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 founding member and primary songwriter 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 rebirth of Backyard Tire Fire springs forth with an undeniable burst of musical energy. Fans will cheer the band's return the way families celebrate a long-awaited reunion. The music radiates a spirit of renewal, like a John Deere tractor turning over a patch of rich soil. And the musicians pack more passion into the material than a team of horses in their prime, eager to work. The recordings show how much bandmates Edward David Anderson, Matt Anderson, Scott Tipping and John Ganser are happy to play new songs together after a decade-long hiatus.
'Black Dirt Blue Sky' is loaded with moments that coax smiles and recall good memories. "Carefree Kids" inspires nostalgia, while "Truck Stop Shower" negotiates the ups and downs of a life lived hard with guest vocals by Garrison Starr. The band's experience touring the USA and recording a series of timeless alt-country records in the early aughts informs the present-day energy of tunes like "Little Wren" and "House Of Cards." Holding up alongside the best of Backyard Tire Fire from years past, the music shines with beauty and joy, like light at the end of a long tunnel.
"This collection of songs tells a story of redemption and perseverance, of second chances,” Anderson said. "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," Anderson continues. "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."
Backyard Tire Fire will return to the stage for a handful of select performances, including their own Black Dirt Music Festival in Bloomington, IL on Saturday, September 11 to be headlined by fellow Illinois band, Wilco.
Backyard Tire Fire - 'Black Dirt Blue Sky'
1. Carefree Kids
2. Little Wren
3. Alejandro Escovedo
4. Truck Stop Shower (w/ Garrison Starr)
5. House Of Cards