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The Shaman

by Bow Thayer

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about

Some people have been asking me about the meaning/origin of my new single, "The Shaman," including the man who mixed it, David Westner. I figured I would just post the email I wrote to him explaining it.

Hey DW,

Ok, so you may or may not know that my young music partner and bass player Alex Abraham, whom I took under my wing for like 5 years, decided to check out. He blew his head off with a .33 Remington rifle a few doors up from my house where he was staying. I still wake up with that image in my head most mornings.

My wife Lori actually found him after I asked her to check on him (he didn’t show for a gig). Anyway, I’m riddled with guilt on that one.
Gruesome and horrible - we were cleaning bone blood and hair for weeks after it happened. Even after a professional cleaning. My buddy who owned and built the house eventually sold it. I suppose it was just too much . . . .

While Alex was playing music with me he also played in another band. The drummer in that band was also named Alex Abraham. No relation. You can’t make this shit up! This other Alex is who the song is about. He was the opposite from Alex the bassist, who was very introverted. He was an extrovert and crazy as fuck! I met him when he was under house arrest for shooting bullet holes in his best friend's van one afternoon. He decided to have a big festival at his place since he could not leave. He called it “House Arrest Fest.” Genius!

We became friends. One time he went out in my garden, just on a whim, and came back with this doll-like creature he made of sticks and flowers and leaves . . . just beautiful and VERY intricate. He left it on the hood of my truck and split.

He was rumored to collect his sweat after a gig and young women would drink it. Everyone loved him, but he also pissed a lot of people off.
He was a metal drummer at heart, but I saw him play in a Dead cover band once. Imagine Fire on the Mtn with a double kick!
Somehow it worked. Because he was batshit. He got into trouble and had to leave VT.

Earlier this year he (like Alex the bassist) checked out - hung himself in his camper (from what I was told).

Not only do I believe if we were in another type of society he would be held up as a Shaman, but I think his life also fits in with the Discordians and 23 is a very powerful number to them, hence the other song Soil of 23 (Look up Kennith Anger and Robert Anton Wilson). Chaos was his salvation.

I miss both Alexs very much.

And there you have it!

bow

lyrics

He was masked in neon clay
He was cast into a dark cave
Where he sat for many days
Staring at the walls
Then the cave was getting smaller
As he was getting taller
And his mind began to wander
He couldn't stay there anymore

The days they keep coming,
Round the same time every night
In a maze we stumble to the light

I believe he was a shaman
It appears his head and heart couldn't get along
His downbeat cracked like thunder
It shook the room and then was gone

He could go beyond the mountain
He could go beyond his dream
He could go beyond his next breath
And part the raging sea
He could be the wounded soldier
Who could fix the broken queen
Leave the kingdom of the frozen
And turn around the beat

The days they keep coming
round the same time every night
In a maze we stumble through the light

I believe he was a shaman
It appears his head and heart couldn't get along
His downbeat cracked like thunder
It shook the room and then was gone

If peace is all you wanted
And the screaming getting louder and you're freaking out
From a see-saw he was hanging
and couldn't seem to hold on anymore

credits

released February 9, 2024
Written by Bow Thayer

Vocals and all instruments (except congas) performed by Bow Thayer
Congas played by Steve Ferraris

Produced by Bow Thayer

Mixed by David Westner at Wooly Mammoth Sound (Waltham, MA)
Mastered by Alex McCullough at True East Mastering (Nashville, TN)
Cover art by Vincent Freeman

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about

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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