By: David Schultz
One of the more versatile bands around, Backyard Tire Fire has the ability to turn out sets focused exclusively on gritty traditional blues, homespun country or flat-out classic rock. Whatever mood may strike them, they can follow that muse. It doesn’t hurt that the band’s lead singer and guitarist Ed Anderson is turning into a prodigious and prolific songwriter. His brother, bassist Matt Anderson and drummer Tim Kramp may be having trouble keeping up with the sheer abundance of quality songs springing from his fertile mind.
Last week, Backyard Tire Fire returned to New York City to put on a scorching set before The Beautiful Girls took the stage at Sullivan Hall. Normally a trio, the Tire Fire have recently brought in guitarist Scott Tipping to round out their live sound. An eminently talented axeman, Tipping not only does pushes Ed Anderson to up his game, he makes it possible to keep the band’s signature guitar in the mix when Anderson moves to the keyboards.
BTF kept their one hour set focused on their upcoming album, The Places We Lived. In contrast to his brother who was nattily dressed, Matt Anderson opted for a simpler dress, proudly donning a Sun Studio shirt. In line with the band’s recent Session at the legendary studio, the new songs have a distinctly blues rock feel to them and they let a small hint of country slip in when it suits the song’s purpose. At the close of the set, they offered a stellar version of “Downtime,” one of Vagabonds and Hooligans’ best tracks.
The Tire Fire will be making their way around the Midwest with the Reverend Horton Heat and Nashville Pussy over the next couple months. Their road show is definitely worth the price of admission alone. Ed Anderson is truly an emerging songwriter whose immense talent won’t remain hidden for long. Catch them now before Backyard Tire Fire becomes absolutely white hot.