A Better Version of the Truth

by Bow Thayer

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1.
We are plasma of the void Quantum tunnels, caves and tunnels As we do the dance Silver seedlings in the sea of darkness And we explode into leaves of lotus In the Gr8 X-pants Round and round in sound we go Endless streaming beacons beaming From distant worlds
2.
3.
Haze heavy, shadows and light A fountain of darkness on the road tonight Picking at the ice just to get down to the stone Hoping there’s life at the end of the tunnel Oh, it’s a bad sign, when the black tide flows over the road to home You might be a slave You might be a saint Who’s gonna save him, from the same thing, that saved me? Hey, it’s scary when the jury’s out Deadlock swimming in a sea of doubt Picking at the flesh just to get down to the bone Looking to the light when the gavel goes down You might be a slave You might be a saint Skin on a bone-structured cage We go out the way we came With a given right to choose A better version of the truth We’re all just monkeys on a swing Who learned to pray and write and sing Who would kill ya just to prove A better version of the truth I don’t know, I don’t know I don’t know and neither do you
4.
Slowlow 04:30
5.
The Drain 04:05
Rome was built to burn Its roads were paved with scorn The truth was lost within the noise Seeing is believing with no choice So walk me out in the cold redeeming rain Your dirty kiss has gone and left a stain Baby, won’t you please come clean? You pulled the plug you got me Circling around the drain You stole the keys to my door You pierced the shield of my soul The truth is there In disguise Weeping is my heart bleeding through broken eyes Walk me out in the cold redeeming rain Your dirty kiss has gone and left a stain Baby, won’t you please come clean? You pulled the plug you got me Circling around the drain
6.
7.
Queen Kong 04:11
Last time my hairy head caught fire I was lying face down in the funeral pyre Then the big black mountain opened up wide It said wake up rise and shine Tinker Bell and that crazy Mary Shelley They was getting it on in the No Town Library With the pixie dust fused with the Dewey decimal system Got to lay low, play heavy Make way for the night, it’s coming right at ya It’s misbehaving time down at the rapture tonight Queen Kong woke up at dawn Polished her brand new megaphone And walked down the streets of No Town at dawn Screaming wake up here comes Queen Kong Make way for the night, it’s coming right at ya It’s misbehaving time down at the rapture tonight
8.
I finally found a spot in the city parking lot I took out a quarter and put it in the slot Of the blinking meter but it got stuck I said to Miss Rita, can you put away your book? At least hold off on the flatbed truck While I go down to the grocer and change my last buck The air got heavy and the day got long When I got back my wheels’ were gone So we moved up here and had a couple of kids With a couple of misses and a couple of hits A couple of holes and red-knuckled fists Moments of hell, moments of bliss But I never got a handle on what went down Never got the lowdown on what went wrong Everything I lost is only what I’ve found I’m glad I gave it up for the fertile ground I’ve been thinking in terms of circles a lot Looking for the hands on the digital clock Thinking and blinking and a ticking the talk Wondering what we’re gonna do if time just stops I’m pretty sure it doesn’t, what if we’re just stuck? Going around in circles like a spinning top You start to feel the warble and just before you drop Someone comes along to pick you back up So we go back to the beginning at the end of the line Am I closer to birth or closer to dying? Do I give up the hard work or keep on trying? I like to smoke a bit of pot, drink a little wine I try to get sober, I try and stay high Try and laugh a little more than I cry Maybe share a bigger portion of the piece of the pie It’s a natural conundrum of the average guy A natural conundrum of the average guy At the end of our days Will we burn out like a candle dripping hot wax on the cold ground? Will we fade away? Will there be a light on whenever we get home? Will it all be explained? You better hold on and don’t let go It’s a mighty long road and it got holes It‘s got ice and it’s got snow Detours where you wouldn’t want to go It winds and grinds and rolls and flows It winds and grinds and rolls and flows Sometimes you follow Sometimes you’re the leader But we all got to pay the same damn meter It got me thinking back to good old Rita If it wasn’t for her, I’d never be here If it wasn’t for Rita, I’d never be here

about

All of my albums have some sort of story behind their creation. More like hurdles actually, and this one is no different in that respect. In fact, this one was a real doozy! Here’s the short story.

I started writing these songs about three years back. When we were a mere two sessions into the demo recordings, our drummer Jeff Berlin suffered several strokes that left him unable to continue. We shelved the tracks until he was able to re-learn how to play. It took two years of intense physical therapy, but thank god he recovered. Upon revisiting the tracks, we realized that the demos were pretty good. Since these songs reflected a certain chapter of our lives, we decided to keep most of them and just added one new song - “The Drain” - and re-recorded the title track. Then I took them down to Milan Hill Studios in Milan, NY so that mix master Justin Guip could stick his fingers into the sauce. Things were feeling good and taking shape, and we started playing most of the songs out in public. Then another tragedy happened. On March 31st of this year, we were scheduled to play a local show. Come set time, our bassist Alex Abraham was nowhere to be found. After limping through the gig without him, I called home and asked my wife to go check on him. Alex was living at a friend’s house just up the road from us. Maybe his car got stuck - it was a pretty sloppy mud season. Or maybe it was just another miscommunication - I’m known for those. But upon arriving home I was greeted with a look and telepathy that shook me to the bone. My wife had found Alex after he had placed a Remington Model 33 rifle in his mouth and pulled the trigger. Upon reaching the scene nothing could have prepared me for what I witnessed. It broke my heart (and it would have broken yours) to to see such an amazing and dear young talent snuffed out of this existence without any explanation. The grief was, and is, almost unbearable, the only solace being his fierce and extraordinary bass tracks left behind. So we finished mixing.

“A Better Version of the Truth” was the toughest record I have ever made, and some of the tracks reflect that. It ain’t perfect, but what is? Then again this is the brutal truth. Nothing was phoned in - so looking at it that way, it IS perfect.

Someday I will divulge the entire story of me and Al and bring to fruition the half-baked treasures he left behind on multiple hard drives in the corners of The Woodshed, but for now please add this exemplary effort to your collection. I am sure you will find it an unflinching testament to a unique and evolving artist who suffered silently with demons undetected by his closest friends and family. Rest easy my low end friend, your soul flies on the wings of each molecule you push with your thunderous beauty.

b

credits

released November 9, 2018

All songs written by Bow Thayer, SESAC Elbop Music
Copyright 2018

Musicians:
Bow Thayer- Banjos, Bojos, Guitars, Synth, Keys, Percussion, Vox
Jeff Berlin- Drums
Alex Abraham- Bass, Vox
Justin Guip - Organ
J.D. Tolstoi - Fender Rhodes, Organ, Synth

Recorded and engineered by Bow Thayer at The Woodshed, Stockbridge, VT
Additional engineering by Matt Lillie
Additional tracking and post-production by Justin Guip at Milan Hill Studios, Milan, NY

Mixed by Justin Guip at Milan Hill Studios, Milan, NY
Produced by Bow Thayer and Justin Guip
Mastered by Alex McCullough at True East Mastering, Nashville, TN

Managed by Scott Florance at Battenkill Music

Cover art by Chris Lillie (photos) and Nicole Momaney (layout, artwork and editing)

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Bow Thayer Vermont

Bow Thayer's music features his custom Bojotar and fuses experimental elements with Americana, rock, bluegrass, and folk, resulting in a singular, progressive sound that has earned descriptions ranging from “Green Mountain soul” to “modern backwoods music.” American Songwriter says this "onetime Levon Helm compatriot is the best artist to come from New England in recent years." ... more

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