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

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ex-Vagus - Ames Vagabondes – Ex-Vagus is a French prog rock quintet (bass, drums, keyboards, vocals, and guitars) that would fit well in the Musea stable of French artists (Ange, Pulsar, etc.). Ames Vagabondes is their third...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues