Lloyd Thayer: The Bumper Pool Diaries

By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  July 9, 2007
3.0 3.0 Stars
Local stringed-instrument devotee Lloyd Thayer completes his mission to record and release three albums in one year with this gentle, transfixing collection. The Bumper Pool Diaries follows 2006’s all-instrumental Birds and the genre-based Blues for Boston, weaving Thayer’s lyrics — echoing Tom Waits in “Wonderland,” recalling America’s lost natural majesty in “I Remember” — with arrangements that embrace blues, folk, country, and rock. The most sensitive number is the character portrait “Earl,” which is about a simple lost soul who collects trash and bottles for his on-the-edge survival. Thayer’s emotional storytelling is enhanced by his crying dobro and by mountain vocal harmonies from guest Susan Levine. His playing on lap steel, acoustic lap slide guitar, musical saw, conventional electric and acoustic guitars, pedal steel, and autoharp is evocative and graceful — especially when he teeters on the border of Eastern modality and straight-ahead folk for the protest number “Staring at the Screen” and creates a chiming path for “Wonderland” with autoharp and guitar. The latter is bathed in deep, reverberating delay that sounds as if he were playing slide from the top of a distant hill. Although Thayer’s been in the trenches of New England roots music for a while, these three albums establish him as one of the scene’s most distinctive and creative voices.

Lloyd Thayer | Club Passim, 47 Palmer Street, Cambridge | July 21 | 617.492.7679
Related: Lloyd Thayer, Three in one, Roots of spring, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Tom Waits, Lloyd Thayer, Lloyd Thayer
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