Aug 102016
 
BowThayer

If you haven’t heard of an instrument called the “bojotar,” don’t feel bad. Only one person in the world plays it: Bow Thayer, an Americana musician up in Vermont. It’s a custom-built combination of the banjo, electric guitar, and dobro. He’s trying to spread the word though, and got a tip from banjo master Béla Fleck. “Béla told me the best way to sell people on the thing is to become a master of it myself,” Thayer said, “to find out what it can really do and blow people away.”

He’s done just that, and his latest demonstration of the bojotar’s prowess comes on a new tribute album to two early American musicians: Dock Boggs and Mississippi Fred McDowell, two obscure rural singers brought to wider attention when recorded by field musicologist Alan Lomax in the ’50s. Thayer titled his tribute The Source and the Servant and has posted his cover of the Boggs song “Sugar Baby” (an excellent demonstration of the bojotar in action) and a note: Continue reading »