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
Articles Origin: Big Barn Burning – Acres and Acres ep (1988, Pine Marten)