Press

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Praise from our influences:

Johnny Hickman, Cracker:

“My favorite band right now is Backyard Tire Fire and they sometimes remind me of early Wilco, Sonvolt and Flaming Lips. And they unabashedly name check both Wayne Coyne and Tom Petty in song. They are my earworm the last few months.”

Steve Berlin, Los Lobos:

“It takes a pretty special band to rivet the attention of everyone in my band, and BTF certainly are. Great songs, great playing and great guys. I’m really looking forward to the recording sessions- they’ve come up with another amazing batch of songs. In my opinion they are one of America’s best young bands”

Praise for The Places We Lived:

Paste Magazine – Tim Newby – January 2009

“The Places We Lived is a record that more closely resembles Neil Young’s ’70s masterpieces…with its honest feelings and longing for home that are brought to life with a storyteller’s touch and a guitar god’s muscle.”

Altsounds.com- February 2009

“The Places We Lived certainly captivates the essence of a journey. It is almost like a lifetime of happenings all crammed into one on a fantastic record. Raw, emotional and thorough. Backyard Tire Fire have the ability to seize your feelings and portray them in even the simplest of lyrical form.”

Honest Tune Magazine – Tim Newby – November 2008

“The release of last year’s highly acclaimed, Vagabonds and Hooligans – an alt-country-indie rocker – left the musical world salivating for more of Backyard Tire Fire’s boisterous-guitar take on Americana. The release of the intensely gorgeous The Places We Lived early this year should help satiate that hunger and further cement their claim to greatness.”

Blurt Magazine – Rev. Keith A. Gordon – August 2008

“The Places We Lived is inventive, intelligent, genre-crossing good fun, Backyard Tire Fire is a band defiantly swimming against the raging current of cookie-cutter corporate rock and alt-country bands.”

Amplifier Magazine- Pat Moran – September 2008

“In an era in which we have drowned ourselves in ridiculously over-produced computer music in which the noise is more important than the band, it is refreshing to see a band like Backyard Tire Fire emerge on the scene. With chorus-loving songs that bounce over bluesy folk rock, Backyard Tire Fire makes music that is truly…fun. .”

Drum Magazine- August 2008

“Shoulda Shut It” is the best drunk-with-your-buddies sing-a-long of the year, if not the decade.”

JamBase – Sir Dennis Cook – August 2008

“BTF is ripe for wider discovery, perhaps the next in line behind other recently anointed working artists like The Hold Steady, Alejandro Escovedo, the Truckers and My Morning Jacket. The music is all there on Places, and a great trail of tunes lays behind it.”

PopMatters.com – Evan Sewady – August 2008

“Yes, they still rock, but six-string open-field wailing is no longer the BTF’s primary objective. Instead, Anderson has decided to reinvent himself as the premiere Pop Balladeer of America’s Heartland. The perfect primer for a group that truly is one of rock’s best kept secrets.”

BlogCritics – August 2008

“Instead of being just another collection of guitar driven, middle of the road rock music full of stolen riffs from some of the worst excesses of the 1970’s, these guys know how to write and arrange songs and understand what melody means.”

Can You See the Sunset Blog – August 2008

“The bluesy piano romps are just as good as the rock anthems — lovelorn with yearning nostalgia but coupled with straight-up Southern-fried noise — Highly recommended.”

Berkeley Place – August 2008

“Take everything you love about Patterson Hood’s emotional grit, The Old 97s classic barnburner footstompers, and the spirit Whiskeytown had when Ryan still had something to prove, and you’ve already got a good sense of what the band is about: It’s Midwestern Americana at it’s slice-of-hard-life best.”

Hero Hill – August 2008

“Backyard Tire Fire’s exposed new sounds and ideas and shaped a record that is completely different from anything we’ve heard from them before…they’ve grown more than should be possible a few short months since they were offering up a collection of acoustic ditties.”

Ozone and Shadow Blog – August 2008

“If your tired of the same refurbished, drivel that continually makes the air waves, this is your door way to walk through the mundane and into the vividness of raw but polished Americana. There are ordinary story tellers who write lyrics and then their are master narrators, who make you believe what they are saying like you were there with them when they wrote the song.”

Praise for Vagabonds and Hooligans

Best of 2007 Lists:

- Firesideometer

- Cape Cod Times – This trio synthesizes a modern-day country-rock jukebox into a single disc that has all the daring and dirt-road grit that’s missing from the Eagles’ new double-CD set. – Bill O’Neill

- St. Cloud Times – This roots oriented, eclectic mix of music grabbed my attention the first time I heard it. Since then, it has spent more time in my CD player than any other disc this year. – Karl Leslie

- JamBase.com – Top 5 of 2007 (Dennis Cook)

- Radio Cure Blog — “Drive By Who? BTF elbows their way into the Southern Alt-country spectrum with this fine cd.” – Clyde

Chicago Sun Times – November 2007

“Vagabonds and Hooligans, is an effort worthy of early Wilco. There is a definite move into more skillful territory that incorporates the band’s rock side and its country roots into raw, emotionally sophisticated songs.” – Mary Houlihan

BlogCritics – September 2007

“What matters is good music, and on that point Backyard Tire Fire delivers big time. What they also deliver is a sound that is firmly rooted in the rich history of American music – rock ‘n’ roll, R&B, country, and folk to name but a few – while still being fresh and original.” – Chris Holmes

USA Today-February 2007

“A rattling, straightforward tribute from a Southern/Midwestern band that wants “to be Tom Petty” and might just get there.” – Ken Barnes

Sound as Language Blog – August 2007

“Backyard Tire Fire set themselves ahead of their many peers. Not only does the band write incredible songs, there is an endearing experimental nature that they possess.” – Will Miller

Gray Flannel Suit Blog – August 2007

“There is a sincerity and down-home vibe on Vagabonds and Hooligans that I’ve been missing from most of the other music I listen to.” – Chris Holmes

JamBase – February 2007

“Vagabonds and Hooligans, is a career maker – a confident, shining example of songcraft at its finest akin to Randy Newman’s 12 Songs, Drive-By Trucker’s Decoration Day, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker’s Damn The Torpedoes. Played again and again, Vagabonds and Hooligans only grows in depth and charm.” – Dennis Cook

Amplifier – February 2007

“Ed Anderson can turn a lyrical phrase and a musical passage with the originality and authority of Neil Young, Jeff Tweedy, Jay Farrar and Gary Louris but, just as importantly, he writes songs that transcend any comparisons to his alt.country peer group.” – Brian Baker

PopMatters.com – 8 out of 10 stars – April 2007

“Backyard Tire Fire is a band so unique, distinct, amazing and talented.” – Evan Sawdey

High Plains Reader – March 2007

“Backyard Tire Fire have not only redefined themselves, but have created a contender for one of the best albums of 2007. Vagabonds and Hooligans exemplifies the band’s continued attempts to master the art of recording a solid rock n’ roll masterpiece.” – Justin McKenzie

My Old Kentucky Blog – February 2007

“Backyard Tire Fire is great Roots/Americana rock n’ roll. Equate the sound to how you feel when go to your nearest smokey bar, light a cigarette, order a bucket, kick back and kinda feel like you don’t give a fuck. In other words, it’s a real good feeling you get listening to these guys.” – Dodge

Cape Cod Times – March 2007

“Synthesizing a modern-day country-rock jukebox into a single disc, the three guys in Backyard Tire Fire (love the name) have made the first contender for my 2007 Top 10 list.” – Bill O’Neill

Earvolution Blog – February 2007

“By successfully working the borders and diving into country, blues, Southern rock and indie-rock and finding their commonality, Backyard Tire Fire has found something fresh and new within each one” – David Schultz

More Cowbell.info Blog – February 2007

Vegabonds and Hooligans is an excellent listen. It’s a complete album from start to finish” – Tom Geer

McKeesport (PA) Daily News – February 2007

“The Illinois-based trio’s third album, “Vagabonds and Hooligans” is an impres­ sive statement by a band on the rise.” – Jeffrey Sisk

Pasadena Weekly – February 2007

“Rhythmic changeups, shifting POVs, working-man vocals, old-school analog sound and deftly layered lyrics make this Midwestern rock 12-pack (in stores Tuesday) punchy and frequently pleasurable.” – Bliss

Illinois Entertainer- February 2007

“From the enjoyably quirky “Undecided” to the heartbreakingly tender “A Long Time,” there isn’t a wasted note in any of these 12 carefully crafted songs.” – Dean Ramos

Dallas Observer – January 2007

“Anderson still takes his cues from Neil Young, Slobberbone and Whiskeytown, but now he’s come to appreciate the finer points of songwriting that distinguish folks such as Jeff Tweedy and Gram Parsons.” – Darryl Smyers

Beachwood Reporter – January 2007

“Anderson seems to be able to move from balls-out, Slobberbone-style Southern boogie-blasting to nuanced, poppy Tweedy-ism in a heartbeat. His lyrics also tend to capture the everyman angst that runs through the best white man’s blues songs.” – Don Jacobson

Nine Bulletts Blog – January 2007

“These guys are undoubtedly a band on the rise and this cd is as good a place as any for you to hop on and take the ride with them.”

Appleton Post Crescent – January 2007

“Any band calling itself Backyard Tire Fire is open to assumptions involving southern rock, long guitar solos, and pedestrian songwriting…So of course this trio defy all expectations, serving up intelligent lyrics, loud yet restrained guitar work and booming rock ’n’ roll with a side order of alt-country.” – John Koenig

Praise for Skin and Bones and Bar Room Semantics:

chicago INNERVIEW – October 2006

“BTF plays rock and roll as straightforward as a cold bottle of beer.” – Billy Kenefick

Real Networks Rhapsody – October 2006

“The sophomore EP from Backyard Tire Fire has enough big guitars and hard-luck yowl to demonstrate a love for heavy roots music and make a bid for the title of their generation’s Crazy Horse.” – Garrett Kamps

NPR Chicago 848 – March 2006

Stream the Audio Feature Here

Harp Magazine – January 2006

“With its second album, Bar Room Semantics, Backyard Tire Fire is beginning to find its voice. Focused around the blue-collar songwriting of Ed Anderson, the young Illinois-based trio explores the harder side of life with a simple man’s brilliance that never takes itself too seriously.” – Aaron Kayce

Muzzle of Bees – June 2006

“This album is definitely worthy of repeated listens…If you’re a fan of alt-country at all, then I feel strongly that you would dig this album. .” – Ryan Matteson

Cincinnati City Beat – April 2006

“Playing imaginative Rock & Roll with an Americana heart and a progressive soul, the members of Chicago’s BACKYARD TIRE FIRE have been working hard to spread their eclectic Roots music since the release of their fantastic 2005 disc, Bar Room Semantics. If Jeff Tweedy’s more experimental streak of late hadn’t foregone the traditional roots of Wilco’s earlier material (or the awe-inspiring melodicism of their mid-period), he’d likely be making music like Backyard Tire Fire.” – Mike Breen

Illinois Entertainer – April 2006

“Combining elements of alt-country, roots rock, blues, and even a little bit of jazz, Backyard Tire Fire recall the best of Neil Young, Tom Petty, and Creedence Clearwater Revival and make them sound fresh again.” – Dean Ramos

All Music Guide – February 2006

“Low-key but heartfelt, Bar Room Semantics is a refreshing throwback to the more earnest end of the post-R.E.M. ’80s indie rock scene .” – Stewart Mason

Nashville Scene – January 2006

“Bar Room Semantics is infused with the kind of dusty, bootstrap-pulling resilience that Midwesterners have spent decades perfecting.” – Katie Dodd

Iowa City Press-Citizen – February 2006

“Anderson’s wry, literate lyrics recall Alabama’s Drive-by Truckers or Des Moines’ Brother Trucker, and while the two primary building blocks of the “alt-country” movement (Neil Young and Uncle Tupelo) are present, strong elements of Southern rock, soul, stinging funk, college rock, glam and even vintage British Invasion poke through – all with startling dynamic range and authority.” – Jim Musser

St. Louis Press Dispatch – February 2006

“Backyard Tire Fire really connects with listeners. The group’s latest CD, Bar Room Semantics” has the organic feel of a band that’s found its sound and its voice.” – Terry Perkins

Dallas Observer – March 2006

“Anderson’s tales of romantic misfires (“When the Truth Was Still True”) and cautious praise to inebriation (“The Daze”) are direct and intense, as the backing never strays far from the Neil Young/Gram Parsons model that serves as alt-country’s Holy Grail.” – Darryl Smyers

How Was the Show – March 2006 – Live Review of their show @ 400 Bar

“The three members of Backyard Tire Fire had so much grit and charm between the three of them that many of the women in the audience danced wildly and uncontrollably in front of the stage for most of set.” – Andrea Myers

Alt.Culture – February 2006

“Call it Americana, call it alt-country, call it country-rock — it won’t fit easily, no matter what convenient label you want to stick on Bar Room Semantics. This is music created with a purpose and delivered with a heart and fire far too often lost on young bands eying MTV, The OC and major label deals without a future.” – REV. KEITH A. GORDON

Americana UK – January 2006

Backyard Tire Fire peddle a fine mix of alt-country rock, legacy of the Jayhawks and Whiskeytown, with overtones of a grungier rock past and hints to a bluesier future….there’s a feeling that this is from the heart, and its well put together and musically interesting. Worth a listen. – Lynne Pettinger

RealNetworks Rhapsody – November 2005

“Yes, their music rules as hard as their name does. Just when you thought alt country went out with Pokémon, Backyard Tire Fire bring something new to the table, blending Moog with twangy rock and whiskey-pickled vocals. – Eric Shea

WXRT-Chicago – March 2005

“The new record from Backyard Tire Fire is ambitious, but not over-reaching, it’s confident but not cocky; it’s a winner…” – Richard Milne

JamBase – November 2005

“This is like getting a really good mix tape and discovering that all the songs are by the same guy… you’ve taken home a real winner, one you’ll want to keep around for sunrises and heavy talks long after you sober up.” – Dennis Cook

Kyndmusic -November 2005

“This is music that you drink to and sober up to, music that takes you places because the songwriter has been there and wrote about it. ” – Dave Terpeny

The Hub- October 2005

“Guitarist and leader Ed Anderson has musical vision – clearly a creative mastermind at work…this trio is poised to take it to the next level, or two!” – James Walker

Illinois Times – October 2005

“Backyard Tire Fire plays hard, looks ahead, and delivers the goods. Anderson, the band’s songwriter, takes his work seriously. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the boys can rock your socks off…” – Tom Irwin

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