BC & The Big Rig: Turn and Burn
Tulsa’s #ShredDirt rockers, BC & the Big Rig are back with their third full-length release, and it is full of the big guitar swagger that fans have come to expect over the past four years. I talked with guitarist/vocalist Sam Naifeh about the new record, which was done in four days at Taylor Tatsch’s AudioStyles studio in Dripping Springs, Texas.
Sam told the story of how the band had been looking at other studios trying to work out time to make the new record. That’s when Taylor approached them after a gig in Tulsa where Taylor’s band had opened for them and expressed an interest to get BC & the Big Rig in his studio. Once the band got to Texas, they were blown away by the facility and got right to work. He said the band had driven to the studio, had everything set up, and recorded eight songs on the first day. They knew right away they had made the right choice.
Turn and Burn, according to Sam, refers to driving to a show, setting up, doing the show, hanging out with friends and fans after the show, tearing everything down, and heading back out on the road to do it all again. The cover art is done by drummer James Purdy. On the third day in the studio, with all but the finishing touches to be done on the record, he came up with several versions, some of which were very colorful before they finally settled on the final black & gold version.
The record jumps right in with “Knock Knock,” “Looziana Voodoo Queen,” and “Step” delivering a solid 1-2-3 punch of great rock ‘n roll with plenty of pounding drums and “guitarmonies” from the three slingers in the band before things settle down.
“Burdens” was the one song really constructed in the studio. Sam says lead vocalist/guitarist Brandon Clark already had the basic structure of the song with acoustic guitar but it was developed in the recording process. The song deals with depression and suicide and how people deal with those feelings. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is listed along with the song’s title.
Turn and Burn kicks into high gear with “Get on With the Show,” an in-your-face roadhouse rocker that the band has been using as a show opener. Obvious references to Tulsa’s famous Mercury Lounge (where the band played their very first show) can be found throughout the tune. Spoiler Alert: every time the track comes up on the disc, you’ll swear it was on their twice because you’ll want to play it again right away!
The band flashes its Red Dirt credentials on “Randy’s Song” about Oklahoma music scene patriarch, Randy Crouch, with guest vocals (and some tasty guitar) by Cody Canada. Randy is described as a “big influence” on the whole band. Sam referred to him as a “musical hero by the way he lives his life with no rules” and not confined by other restrictions which he finds “inspiring.” Randy’s composition, “High as the Price of Gas,” was featured on the band’s second record with Mr. Crouch himself making an appearance. (If you want a special treat, check out the You Tube video where the band visits Randy in Tahlequah and plays him the finished track.) According to Sam, the band had been wanting to record with Cody Canada and finally through mutual friends (and Cody’s wife Shannon) they all got together in New Braunfels, Texas and knocked out Cody’s vocals and guitar solo.
“Quit Your Bitchin’” is a trippy take on the negative attitudes brought about by social media. “Pennies” is a mid-tempo feel-good song about how musicians may not be making money, but the memories made are worth it. “The Sun” is a fun rocker with a great singalong hook and several more references to “The Merc” with the lead vocal by Sam. “Alive” brings things back to a more serious place. Sam says the song was commissioned for a friend’s movie, now in production, that deals with traumatic brain injuries.
“House of Cards” wraps up the record with plenty of solo-swapping guitars. Sam says the band has had the song for a couple years, but had stopped playing it because they couldn’t settle on how to put it all together. The song stretches out just fine here with lead guitarist, Ryan “Danger” McCall leading the way. Since we’ve already named everyone else in the band, let’s not forget that Chris Bell still holds down the bass spot in the band.