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2 August 2011

Interview: Bow Thayer - Part 1

Hopefully you already have your bags packed and your tickets ready for the third annual Tweed River Music Festival in Stockbridge (VT) on August 12-14, 2011.

If you do, you’re golden. You’re going to enjoy this (via email) interview with local host Bow Thayer of Bow Thayer and Perfect Trainwreck fame. And for those of you still on the bubble, this exchange with Bow should inspire you to get your butt in gear.

Mark @ KYR—They say good things come in threes. This is the third annual Tweed River Music Festival. Congratulations! Give us some history on life before TRMF. What gave birth to it? Why have you kept pursuing it? What is going to make #3 the best one yet? And since it’s just a year away, what’s up with #4?
Bow Thayer—The festival had very humble beginnings, it actually started as a party on my deck with a bunch of musicians just sitting around pickin’. Then it started to be annual. And then it got bigger and moved to different locations that had more room, after several years of taxing our friends and neighbors lands we noticed that people were showing up whom we didn’t know, so we decided to go public.

The spot at the junction of 100 and 107 was perfect because it is right down the road from my house and very accessible for the public. We feel that although it is an insane amount of work it is important to have folks gather and experience a very diverse lineup of musicians. We also want to involve our community and generate some income for the local businesses. We are doing a “boot drop” for the fire department as well as having lots of kids activities, local artists will also be represented. We want to keep this going in a very positive way that will continue to benefit the area.

However, we do not want to grow in size, we want to keep attendance at a level that does not impede on any of the natural beauty of our area or interfere with our neighbors way of life. We do want to increase the quality of the event by continuing to bring independent, as well as legendary performers to the stage. As you know, this year we have Booker T Jones (of Booker T & The MGs), as well as offer a platform for education on important issues such as the environment, education…as we expose folks to art. We hope this in turn will inspire people to express themselves, which is always a healthy thing to do. We hope the Tweed River Music Festival will go down in local history. We will continue to do it as long as the town and state allow us to.

Bow Thayer and-Perfect Trainwreck (Tweed River Music Festival :: Stockbridge, VT)

KYR—Amen Bow! I’m curious…I poked around on your site a bit and couldn’t find the answer. Perfect Trainwreck? Please elaborate a bit.
BT—A Trainwreck is a metaphor for a blunder or mistake during a live performance, sometimes a band will make a collective screw up but it turns into something really cool. Our band has very little or no rehearsal time so we rely on our musical language with each other. Therefore we relish in these Trainwreck…well sometimes.

KYR—I hope you don’t mind me saying so but “Bottom of The Sky” seems rooted in influences from the late 60s though mid to late 70s. Great times for rock music indeed. For me, I heard elements of Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and even the Allman Brothers Band. All great company. That being said, who and/or what are some of your influence that people would be surprised to hear play a role in your artistic DNA?
BT—All of the above artist definitely had a profound influence on my writing, so it is not surprising you hear those elements. I am inspired by all music I hear, I don’t have a big record collection or anything that I go and draw from but if I hear something I like I try and take something from it. If you go back through my catalogue you will hear influences from Sun Ra, Fugazi, Joni Mitchell, Ali Farka Toure’, Django Reinhart…the list is infinite and is basically everything I hear, see or experience.

KYR—Maybe you can help me? What’s in the water in Central Vermont that makes creative juices so creative? With people such as yourself, Rick Redington, etc. It’s hard to imagine so much coming from so small an area of such a sparsely populated state. What’s your theory?
BT—I moved up here about 13 years ago to be in an inspiring place to write, and also to raise a family. The place speaks to me as I am sure it does to other creative folks. Rick is a local boy that happens to be a fine musician and I am sure his roots here influence his writing. Vermont is weird and wonderful and really does get creative juices flowing. But I think wherever you go you will find people connected to their environment that express immense talent.

Bow Thayer :: Tweed River Music Festival :: Stockbridge, VT

Alright folks, that’s it for now. We’ll be following up with Part 2 in the next week. When you get a moment please check out for all things Bow Thayer and Perfect Trainwreck.

By the way, if you haven’t taken the time to check the lineup for TRMF3 then you need to know that Killington’s number one son Rick Redington (along with his uber-fresh musical mischief makers The Luv) will be playing Sunday 14 August.

Here’s the link to the schedule on the festival’s website ::

You can buy tickets there as well.

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