lloyd Thayer | Birds

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United States - Mass. - Boston

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Folk: Modern Folk Folk: Fingerstyle Moods: Instrumental
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by lloyd Thayer

17 instrumentals solo pieces for Dobro or lapstyle guitar, weaving elements of acoustic fingerstyle, blues, indian, middle eastern and free improvisation.........
Genre: Folk: Modern Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Piping Plovers
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0:26 $0.99
2. Riding the Rails With Chris Darling
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3:00 $0.99
3. The Run Up Butter Mountain
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4:11 $0.99
4. Great Blue Heron
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3:33 $0.99
5. Hammerhead
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0:53 $0.99
6. Pole Vaulting Mingus
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5:45 $0.99
7. War Never Ends
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3:59 $0.99
8. Hijaz Mojo
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8:13 $0.99
9. 73 Bus Vs. 71 Bus
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2:36 $0.99
10. Charles River Rag
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1:28 $0.99
11. Salty and Smooth
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1:13 $0.99
12. Lost Oystercatcher
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6:24 $0.99
13. Mississippi Ripposaurus
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1:45 $0.99
14. Glass Flowers in Mothballs
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0:43 $0.99
15. February Grebe
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3:31 $0.99
16. 24 Hours
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1:53 $0.99
17. Unitedstatesofamnesia
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2:40 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
Birds is the first collection of solo instrumental compositions
by Dobro virtuoso lloyd Thayer. The album features 17 acoustic
soundscapes all played on lapstyle guitar, meaning, the guitar is
played flat in the lap and fretted with a metal bar. Thayer’s playing
is rooted in the tradition of John Fahey, Robbie Basho, and other
Takoma artists, but also contains deep echoes of an older, outsider
group of players from the 1920s like Sylvester Weaver and Frank
From the regal beauty of songs like “Great Blue Heron” or
“War Never Ends” to the haunting, mysterious richness of “February Grebe”
and “24 Hours,” lloyd’s playing covers a wide range of emotions and
moods. “Riding the Rails” and “Lost Oystercatcher” feature some
beautiful work on the Weissenborn guitar, which is just one of a
variety of guitars used on the CD, including a 1929 National
Squareneck Tricone, a Dobro made of fiberglass, and a 12 string
acoustic guitar specially modified to be played lap style.
Perhaps the high point of the album is the eighth song, “Hijaz Mojo.”
At just over 8 minutes long, this piece is an improvisation on National Steel
Guitar in the ancient Middle Eastern Maquam or scale called “Hijaz,” which is
popular throughout the Arab world. lloyd’s study of Middle Eastern and classical Indian musics shines through on this piece, which crosses the line between cultures with graceful fluidity.
The CD also features some agressive right-hand picking work on the 12
string on songs like “Mississippi Ripposaurus” and “Charles River Rag." Finally, Birds comes to a close with the powerful and expressive “UnitedStatesofAmnesia,” a one-take, one-time improvisation that perfectly sums up Thayer’s mastery of his chosen instrument.
Honed during endless hours on subway platforms in his native Boston,
Thayer’s playing reaches new heights on this CD, and pushes the
boundaries of what can be done on a Dobro. In fact, many of the
songs on this CD grew out of improvisations played while waiting for
the next group of subway commuters to arrive. A beautiful work from start to finish, Birds is played from the heart and soul by a master artist, with intensity and emotion, and is for lovers of acoustic music everywhere.


to write a review

David Zinn

This is a disc I have been waiting for.
These songs have been going through my head for weeks now. Using the stark medium of solo lapstyle guitar, lloyd churns out so many colors and textures-- from classic roots sounds (the sun-drenched Riding the Rails With Chris Darling), to haunting middle-eastern ragas like The Run Up Butter Mountain, to full-throttle acoustic blues meltdowns like Mississippi Riposarus. Though the execution of the music is fluid and graceful there is always a welcome human quality to the proceedings as well-- something a bit messy and passionate, befitting of whimsical titles like Pole Vaulting Mingus or Glass Flowers in Mothballs. Rather than being purely a display of technical ability, lloyd plays from the bottom of the deep heart, and you can just sit back and feel it-- his joy and sadness, his sense of humor, his love. I would be hard pressed to pick my favorites, because they keep changing. My favorite today is the sad and gorgeous War Never Ends. Why not listen and see for yourself?

P. A. Murphy

Lloyd Thayer's _Birds_ is a creative triumph in solo instrumental music.
Lloyd Thayer's new collection of music for the lapstyle guitar embodies a marriage of virtuosity and creative nuance that is so exceedingly rare -- particularly in the solo instrumental space. Highly recommended.

Little Johnny Kantreed

Not to be missed!!!
"WOW!!!" I guess that's the best way to start out about lloyd's new CD, "Birds". This CD covers the gambit of styles, from the chicken-grease blues of "Mississippi Ripposarus" to the hauntingly melodic "Hijaz Mojo". Others also stand out - "Riding The Rails With Chris Darling" could be a lazy Saturday evening on the front porch, whilst "Charles River Rag" takes the listener back to the prohibition speakeasys. If I was to try to wrap up the CD in a nutshell, I would say, imagine Jerry Douglas and Ravi Shankar jamming together with the heart and soul of the artist that is lloyd Thayer. If you only buy one CD this holiday season for yourself or someone else, I would truly recommend "Birds". Really, it's not to be missed!!!

Nancy Varner

True lapstyle guitar virtuosity displayed within an array of ingeniously creativ
“Byrds” with its collection of varied styles of music kept me interested and intrigued from beginning to end. Blues, Country, World Beat, and Modern Music styles are all represented here, to name a few. But all of these compositions, written by Thayer himself, are first rate. As a fan of World music, I can tell you that he does a superb job with #8 (Hijaz Mojo)- a Middle Eastern delight! His experimentation with contemporary compositional techniques results in some interesting atonal works. He is definitely not afraid to try something new. Then there’s some great traditional toe-tapping, foot-stomping numbers included as well. As for his playing technique, Lloyd is a master of his instrument, no doubt. In fact, so much so that at times, when he really gets going, its sounds as if there are actually two guitarists playing. He incorporates the use of slide techniques at times that would definitely be considered “cutting-edge”, attesting again to his creativity as a composer as well as his playing ability. What more could one want in a single CD?

Stacy Phillips

excellent playing
"Lots of original approaches, excellent playing, great tone, cool sounds I've never heard from a slide before. . . All the guitars sound great."