May 20, 2024

Barnburner, the debut release from Aaron Burnham and the Brushfires is one of those rare CDs that can be enjoyed from start to finish. Burnham himself wrote and produced every song and got them all right, even bringing in guest players on fiddle, steel guitar and harmony vocals where needed. Each song hews to the honky-tonk genre yet all sound different from one another. This variety makes for a CD you can listen to over and over without getting the feeling that you’re just hearing different versions of the same thing. The following song samples will let the CD speak for itself.

1. “Into the Fire” is about prisoners called upon to fight California forest fires.
2. “Barnburner,” the title track, anticipates a big party.
3. “Big Potatoes” tells about some bad-assed cookin’.
4 “Daisy Says” is about those thing she says that you… .
5. “Greener Pastures” slows things down for a look at the rambling life.
6. “I Guess You Won” — Gotta have a heartbreaking woman song on a country CD. It’s the law.
7. “Poison,” a first person narrative, is about a heartbreaking man (also the law).
8. “Would You Hold It Against Me” is sure to get Aaron on the third wave feminists’ MCP list.
9. “El Camino Real” honors crusin’ on the road that Junipero Serra built.
10. “Wishing Well” spans overs dreams, self-reflection, regrets and hope.
11. “Burn, Burn, Burn” closes the CD and it’s title tells you what you need to know.