2007 Artist Lineup

Backyard Tire Fire

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As their moniker suggests, Backyard Tire Fire churns out a barely-controlled conflagration—starting off low and slow, flaring into a flat-out blaze at the whim of a breeze, then drawing back down into a pungent, smoky flame—yet always smoldering with a stubborn intensity that will not be ignored. The band began to take shape in late-2000/early-2001 in the hill country of Asheville, NC, where Anderson (fresh from a five-year stint as guitar avatar in the popular, Chicago-based Brother Jed) looked to redirect his songwriting efforts into a vein that was, at once, more musically subtle and more emotionally sophisticated. Along with co-founder Tim Kramp, Anderson and BTF performed regularly in the Asheville area beginning in 2001, quickly expanding into the alt-rock haven of Athens, GA. After recording their debut, Live at the Georgia Theatre in 2002, Anderson and Kramp relocated to the Midwest, setting up base camp in Bloomington, IL with Ed’s rock-solid brother Matt more than ably taking over bass/backing vocal duties. Through it all, BTF continued to expand their stylistic range, dipping into folk, pop, alt-country, Southern rock, R&B and rock’n’roll, all of which was imbued with Anderson’s deft, seemingly-effortless lyrical gift for illuminating blue-collar stories with shock-of-recognition detail and a voice as comfortably worn as a favorite shirt. Via extensive touring (from clubs to festivals), BTF has built reputation as a compelling, remarkably flexible live act, sharing stages with such diverse luminaries as Son Volt, Alejandro Escovedo, James McMurtry, The Radiators, North Mississippi Allstars, Will Hoge, Jackie Greene, The Mother Hips, William Elliot Whitmore and Dan Bern—and gathering a hard-won fan-base along the way. On their third disc, Vagabonds and Hooligans, Backyard Tire Fire continues to hone and expand upon the distinctive, pan-genre songbook of front-man Ed Anderson, tapping into a serpentine roots mélange Big-hearted, jarringly direct and riding a powerful, upward arc, Backyard Tire Fire is a happening thing. Wake up and smell the burning rubber… -Jim Musser

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