When Backyard Tire Fire was tapped to open for Los Lobos in its home town of Bloomington, Ill., last year, the group did not expect it to become “that gig that keeps giving,” as frontman Ed Anderson calls it.
“Los Lobos invited us to play with them, so we got to play some songs,” recalls Anderson, 37, who co-founded the group in 2001. “We thought if nothing else came of it, it was still the greatest night we’ve ever had as a band.”
It’s gotten greater, however. The show introduced BTF to Los Lobos saxophonist Steve Berlin, who’s also a producer. He got back in touch with the band and offered to produce its next project, which sent the group to Portland, Ore., to record its eighth release, which BTF is currently shopping to labels.
“He was a real joy to work with,” Anderson says, “but very challenging. I don’t think it was the most comfortable recording we’ve done. Every day there would be something else he was going to throw at us to work with or work on. Sometimes he could really change stuff around on you, even after you thought you were done.
“So you had to really be on your toes. We learned so much. It was a great experience — but comfortable? Maybe not.”
Backyard Tire Fire and Dirt Road Logic perform Thursday (June 11) at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10. Call (248) 544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.
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