REVIEW: “Bear and a Banjo” – Soundtrack and Podcast – is Dark, Backwoods World


Produced by T. Bone Burnett and featuring Jason “Poo Bear” Boyd (vocals) and Jared Gutstadt (guitar), the Bear and a Banjo soundtrack accompanies the podcast by the same name which features Americana music prominently. The Bear and a Banjo podcast was originally released in October 2019 and features Dennis Quaid along with acclaimed record/vocal producer and songwriter Poo Bear Boyd and Jingle Punks founder Jared Gutstadt. The podcast’s soundtrack dropped on February 21st, 2020.

The Bear and a Banjo soundtrack kicks off with “Can You Hear Me Now” centered on a midnight preachers howl, a rambling banjo, a blues stomp, and a feisty organ. Falling somewhere between early Allman Brothers and Scott H. Birham’s electrified reinterpretation of gospel blues, “Can’t You Hear Me Now” welcomes the listener to the dark backwoods world of Bear and a Banjo. “Behind the Preposition” continues to build on the late night AM radio squawk of “Can You Hear Me Know” with the addition of an angsty electric guitar reminiscent of an elongated ZZ Top Texas-style shuffle. “Me and My Banjo” shifts gears to a lazy morning country porch, “don’t need nobody, don’t need nothing but me and my banjo” sings the refrain in between rhyming lists of all of life’s worries, woes, and worldly possession that our narrator can do without. “You can take the world by storm, I’m going back to sleep… you can leave the change on the dresser, ain’t noting gonna change about me,” he concludes.

“Lying’s the New Truth” falls somewhere between Americana romp and electro-dance thump; reminiscent of Moses Sumney’s recent work the track indicts the pervasiveness of lying in American society in the spirit of a Woody Guthrie era work song. “We Ain’t Going Nowhere” summarizes attitude of rural America, “we all been here long before, we’ll all be here when you fade away,…we ain’t going nowhere.” “Trying to keep my dignity in the midst of all the pain,” the lyrics continue in summary of the mission of the good man, the good woman, the good American.

Pick up a copy of the Bear and a Banjo soundtrack today and be transported to a time and a place that is alive and well in Americana today.


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