BC and the Big Rig Turn and Burn
BC and The Big Rig are breaking it down and rocking it out once again with a new album, taking their signature “shred’ dirt to a whole new level. But I expect nothing less from these fellas, they’ve been doing that since day one.
The members of the band include Brandon Clark on guitars and lead vocals, Sam Naifeh on guitar and vocal, Ryan McCall on lead guitar and vocal, Chris Bell on bass guitar and vocal, and James Purdy on drums and vocal. That’s right, they all sing, which means their songs are rich in harmonies.
The band came together in January of 2015, and have been melting faces and jamming out crowds ever since.
This latest album, aptly titled Turn and Burn, has an impressive 11 songs on it, each one offering something you can’t get anywhere else. It will be released September 13th, on Friday the 13th no less, and is the third full length album from the Big Rig. I have a feeling they aren’t stopping here, I imagine they are just going to keep on trucking along making more music.
They recorded Turn and Burn at AudioStyles in Dripping Springs, TX. Taylor Tatsch runs the studio and produced/mixed the songs. Foster Mastering did the mastering for it, and the art work was done by their multi-talented drummer James Purdy while they were in the studio. You can find his artistic handy work on his drum heads most of the time as well.
Ryan “Danger” McCall, who wails on the guitar in ways others only wish they could, answered some questions for me about the album and what the band has been up to lately.
”This album is very focused on the songs. We went into the studio very open minded about how to approach things. Nothing was off limits on what we could try or do with the songs. Plus having an outside voice of Taylor Tatsch was nice because he offered things we wouldn't have thought of and allowed us to focus on being musicians,” said McCall. “Taylor also plays B3 organ all over the record and that was super cool. The last record we did ourselves and we played the duel role of musician as well as producer/engineer. This time we could put all the focus into being players. That took a lot of stress off of us and opened a lot of creative doors for us to explore.”
While all the songs on the album are great, there is one extra special song in particular. Titled Randy’s Song, it pays tribute to the legendary Randy Crouch who has been a good friend to the band for many years. The song also features a special guest, Cody Canada.
“Having Cody on Randy's Song was really special to us. It started just as an idea to have Cody be a guest and to see it all come together was really cool,” said McCall.
But that isn’t the only song with a fun story behind it
“Looziana Voodoo Queen came about after Brandon watched an episode of Scooby-Doo! It's about a crazy Voodoo lady who lives out in the woods,” he said. “I'm really excited we put The Sun on the record. It features Sam on lead vocals. If you see us live, you know we all sing so it's really cool to see Sam's song make the record. The breakdown section of that song is super rad and its cool to hear the band play that part.”
Speaking of seeing these guy’s live, they have been traveling far and wide and playing lots of shows lately.
We've been pretty busy this year. There's been a lot of road gigs and our van turned over 300,000 miles at the beginning of the year. We just got back from our yearly Sturgis gigs. It's been our fifth year up there playing the motorcycle rally and it's always an adventure,” commented McCall.
The band has grown and evolved over the last several years, while still keeping a pretty consistent vibe and sound. They continue to produce quality songs filled with energy, attitude and solid song-writing.
“I think we have settled into our own sound. We've learned who we are as a band and what works for us and what doesn't. We've seen the crowds get bigger and notice more people paying attention to what we are doing. So that's nice,” said McCall.
The guys definitely aren’t planning on stopping anytime soon either.
“We genuinely love playing music with each other. If we aren't in the van headed to a gig, there's a good chance we are crammed into one of our living rooms playing music and hanging out. As long we are making tunes with each other you will see smiles on our faces,” said McCall. “It doesn't matter if we are on stage at Cain's Ballroom or a small dive bar three states away. It's great being in a band with your best friends. It takes the stress away. Sometimes the hardest part of being in a band is getting along with your fellow band mates. The Big Rig is different though. We are a family and we put that above everything else. Family comes first and music comes second.”
And now for the album review, which was written by our contributing author, and dear friend of mine, Rick Owens. He has some great things to say.
~ Tonya Little
“Hey, hey. My, my. Rock and roll will never die.”
No truer words have been spoken, than those of a young Canadian’s thoughts on the progression of music and culture, and finding his own relevance in the late 1970s. Music still evolves, players still seek relevance, and rock and roll never dies.
Turn And Burn is the third full length record from BC & The Big Rig and it pulls rock and roll to the front and center, kicks you in the teeth and holds you in its arms at the same time. Oklahoma Red Dirt music has typically been a country/folk-forward genre, with rock and roll, blues, and bluegrass influences to create a sound that is unique and specific to Oklahoma. BC & The Big Rig is what you get when you retain all of the fundamental elements of Red Dirt music, but pull all of the Rock and Roll forward, and create a completely new subgenre. Shred Dirt. And right now, this band is the only band that occupies that category, and completely owns it.
This album is a carefully honed and crafted assortment of songs that are a culmination of all of the hard work, writing, refining, touring, sound checks, shows, hotel rooms, and miles in the van will get you. It is exactly the kind of album that you want to have on while driving, at parties, and on the jukebox at your favorite watering hole. The foundation that inspires foot stomping, hand clapping, and head banging permeates the album, thanks to BC’s rhythm section. James Purdy’s drums and Chris Bell’s bass lines are framework and foundation that allows everything else to happen. Sam Nafeih and Ryan “Danger” McCall have dual lead guitar roles that, frankly, could not be contained if it weren’t for the rocking, funky groove that keeps everything bottled up in a volatile state just before eruption. And on songs like Step and Get On With the Show, that eruption indeed happens. Nafeih and McCall’s dual lead guitars on this album are two headed vipers coiled around six strings, spitting rock and roll right at you! Utilize proper handling and protective gear when necessary.
Brandon Clark, BC’s namesake is no stranger to the Oklahoma music community. He’s been a staple of the Tulsa music scene for years, and has a total of ten albums out with the release of Turn And Burn. He set out just over four years ago to build the band that he’s always wanted. A band that is indeed bigger than he is. He has a powerful vehicle to deliver his words and music to the masses, and has toured the country recently doing just that. The song Pennies tells the true tale of their longest and furthest road tours at the time, only to make just enough money to pay for the trip.
“We got home after an amazing run, and we didn’t even have any money to split,” Clark says, “but man, there were some awesome memories!”
And although BC & The Big Rig‘s reach across the country is growing rapidly, they never forget home. The Mercury Lounge is referenced in at least 2 songs on the album, with one of them pretty much dedicated to it. “In Tulsa, Oklahoma you can find what you’re looking for every goddamn night!”
Lastly, one of the highlights for me on the album is Randy’s Song. I’d heard the song live before hearing the recorded version on the album, and I knew it would be great. I just didn’t realize how great. Listening to the lyrics about Randy Crouch paints a picture, like that of a deity. And after a little reflection, I realized that is true.
I thought to myself, “if Randy existed in biblical times, this is what they would have written about him.” Well, I’m not positive that Randy wasn’t around then, but I am positive that song encapsulates Randy’s essence and his presence on every musician in Oklahoma, whether they know it or not.'“
And that must be the reason that Cody Canada, of Cody Canada and the Departed, guests on this song. That unmistakable voice has been a staple of the Red Dirt community for years, even prior to his success with Cross Canadian Ragweed. While Cody and Brandon sing the gospel from the book of Randy, Cody lays down salty guitar licks between verses as well as the first part of the guitar solo. This song is a gem on its own, but after you add in Cody Canada, you’ve got a new anthem.
Having said all that, I am formally and officially recommending you to buy this album when it releases. As far as the BC & The Big Rig live show goes, they rock so significantly, music goers of any personal tastes will walk away knowing that they just witnessed something special. It is indeed a fact that Brandon Clark, via BC & The Big Rig has found relevance, and it’s significant in my opinion.
“My, my. Hey, hey. Rock and roll is here to stay.”
`~ Rick Owens