Exposé Online banner

Bow Thayer — A Better Version of the Truth
(Bandcamp no#, 2018, DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2019-02-21

A Better Version of the Truth Cover art

So here we have the latest release by Bow Thayer – singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist (banjo, guitar, bojotar, synth, keys, and percussion) – along with his bandmates Jeff Berlin (drums), Justin Guip (organ), J.D. Tolstoi (Fender Rhodes, organ, and synth) and the late Alex Abraham (bass and vocals). The eight pieces herein feature a curious juxtapostion of memorable songs, grooves, folk, and Americana, with introspective and adventurous instrumental interludes tying everything together. “Purple Tree Frogs (Are Trying to Kill Me)” is an example of the latter, beginning with a synth and bass groove along with something akin to tree frog sounds, with drums joining in soon after for a fun romp through the swamp, hitting a break, then ending with electric piano taking over the lead with drums riffing throughout. There are no words, it’s just a fun little instrumental adventure. Opener “The Great Expanse” opens to a busy and proggy riff that takes nearly two minutes to spin down into some great vocal harmonies that wouldn’t sound out of place on an early Yes album. “Queen Kong” with its bluesy feel and rough vocal might have the listener reminiscing about Captain Beefheart until the song shifts into a smooth mid-70s pop feel, but soon enough it all moves back to where it began, concluding at a little over four minutes. The title track begins with some badass slide work on bojotar, driving home a masterful groove and some thoughtful lyrics to boot (all song lyrics are on Thayer’s Bandcamp site). “Slowlow” is another instrumental living an a sort of acid jazz groove with banjo leading over a fabric of electric piano and mbira, with drums pacing the proceedings. The album closer, “The Rita Effect,” is a bit of an autobiographical piece that was fundamental in Thayer’s transition from city to country life, Miss Rita being a reference to the meter maid in the Lennon-McCartney song (“If it wasn’t for Rita then I’d never be here”), with an eight-and-a-half minute expansive musical palette that snakes through heavy grooves and gentle improvisations, one of many great songs to be found herein. This was originally going to be available as a download only, but as last year drew to a close it finally find its way onto a compact disc release.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Bow Thayer

More info
http://bowthayer.bandcamp.com/album/a-better-version-of-the-truth

Latest news

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more

2020-03-17
Cruise to the Edge and Seaprog 2020 Festivals Postponed – The worldwide outbreak of the novel coronavirus has started to produce casualties in the music festival world, and music festivals are not immune. We've had word that both the Cruise to the Edge (originally slated for March 27 - April 1) and Seaprog (originally June 5-7) have been postponed to later dates, with those dates to be announced. » Read more

2020-03-06
McCoy Typer RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of one of the most influential pianists in the history of jazz, McCoy Tyner. His tenure with John Coltrane in the early 60s includes some of the most treasured recordings of the era, including My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. After leaving Coltrane's group, he had a long and successful solo career. He was 81. » Read more

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Fromuz - Audio Diplomacy – Fromuz is short for "From Uzbekistan," the homeland country for this inspired quintet that took Tashkent by storm a few years ago. Guitarist Vitaly Popeloff leads the band in a series of fusion and...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues