MUSIC: Bow Thayer Brings Mountain Soul to Local 121
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
The show opened with the old-time roots sound of Zack Slik. His “front porch vibe” is satisfying, whether finger picking his acoustic guitar on “I Wanna Go,” or invoking strains of Neil Young’s banjo on “Rooftop.” A highlight was “Railroad Bridge,” where he played the banjo as fast as anyone I’ve ever seen. On “Drunkards Dance,” he lamented an earlier time when “another bottle of whiskey” made him “wonder where all my friends have gone.” Slik plays frequently on the MA/CT/RI circuit – catch him if you can!
Bow Thayer is a veteran of the regional and national scene. Recently tagged with the label “Green Mountain Soul,” the Vermont band is hard to categorize. They blend rock, bluegrass, alt-county, and on their latest album, electric banjo. The environmentally themed Eden, features the banjo front and center, echoing sounds of the Band on Music from Big Pink, albeit, a bit updated.
Thayer and the Wreck played several from the new album including “The Beauty of All Things” and “Reckoning,” a banjo hard rocker if there is such a thing. The album, released in March, has received widespread critical acclaim. Buy it – I did! They didn’t forget to honor the legends, covering Doc Watson’s “Suicide King” and a raucously rockin’ version of Leadbelly’s classic, “In The Pines.”
Thayer has shared the stage with artists as diverse as Levon Helm, Pearl Jam, and Ringo Starr. What’s especially pleasing about this band is that they really seem to love what they do. Whether touring in their decked out school bus, or playing live in small clubs, you can tell they are in it for the music. Bow Thayer is as talented as they come; he deserves a lot more attention; let’s hope he sees it soon. Meanwhile, check out his music at bowthayer.com.
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