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Spencer Bohren


Spencer Bohren’s music resonates with the ambience of the rivers, roads, and bayous of the American South. He has a marvelous gift for sharing his great love for America’s wealth of traditional folk, blues, gospel, and country music with audiences of all ages.

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Spencer Bohren


Spencer Bohren’s music resonates with the ambience of the rivers, roads, and bayous of the American South. He has a marvelous gift for sharing his great love for America’s wealth of traditional folk, blues, gospel, and country music with audiences of all ages.

Spencer Bohren 1950-2019


Spencer Bohren 1950-2019


 
 

Spencer Bohren was born on April 5, 1950, in the wind-swept town of Casper, Wyoming, and passed on June 8, 2019, in his adopted home of New Orleans.

He leaves behind two legacies: a fifty-five year career as a world-traveling solo musician; and the family he and his wife, Marilyn, built over their forty-two year marriage.

In his music, Spencer accompanied his expressive singing voice with blue-and folk-based guitar and lap steel over thousands of live performances and 20 solo albums.

He is survived by his wife Marilyn, their four children Django, Andre, Corinna, and Tucker, and their families. 

 
Photo by  James Shaw

Photo by James Shaw

Download spencer’s new song


Download spencer’s new song


Click here to listen to You Can’t Live Here.

Spencer Bohren: vocal, lap steel, baritone lap steel
Ray Bonneville: guitar, harmonica
André Bohren: drums, piano bass
Marc Paradis: cello

You Can’t Live Here by Ray Bonneville, Stonefly Music/SOCAN

You Can’t Live Here is now available to listen and download.

[click here to listen to the song and download it]

Following a loose debut performance of You Can’t Live Here at the Frog Pond in Silver Hill, Alabama, it was clear that the song needed to be recorded, and quickly.

Ray Bonneville struck first, recording guitar, harmonica, and a guide vocal at Austin’s King Electric Studio in late March. A few days later, Spencer and I arrived at NOLA Recording Studios in New Orleans and spent the day tracking lap steel, vocals, piano bass, and drums before bringing in Marc Paradis to record cello.

Lyrically, the song is one-sided conversation directed to the cancer, but there is also a musical storyline that was created, wherein Ray’s raspy harmonica represents almost a snakelike cancer and Spencer’s lap steel responds with cautious yet steady pushback, while the cello’s haunting sound stands as a reminder of the seriousness of the situation.

While it is not exactly an uplifting song, it sets a very heavy and cool vibe which aptly represents both artists, and is a true collaboration between Ray and Spencer.

-André Bohren, producer

musician artist educator storyteller


                                                                                              

musician artist educator storyteller


                                                                                              

 

Spencer Bohren’s music resonates with the ambience of the rivers, roads, and bayous of the American South. He has a marvelous gift for sharing his great love for America’s wealth of traditional folk, blues, gospel and country music with audiences of all ages. His ability to animate the musicians and singers from the past with both respectful readings of their music and spellbinding stories is legendary. Spencer’s laid-back stage presence and comfortable delivery make each concert feel like a pleasant visit with an old friend.

But that’s not all . . .

Woven through the fabric of a Spencer Bohren performance are his stunning original pieces, teeming with echoes of the traditional music he loves, yet written from a modern viewpoint. From gently opinionated topical songs to energetic highway tunes to disarmingly beautiful ballads, Spencer presents a wide range of music, punctuated by superlative guitar playing and using an ever-changing assortment of vintage guitars, lapsteels and banjos. The atmosphere of his New Orleans home subtly informs each performance. What’s more, the stories that preface the songs are often as well received as the songs themselves.

Spencer Bohren is also a big hit in the academic community. His documentary performance, Down the Dirt Road Blues, mesmerizes students all over the world, and his American Roots Guitar workshops are popular with musicians of all ages and backgrounds. Exhibitions and workshops featuring Spencer’s visual artwork, provocative assemblages he calls Reliquaries, are available in conjunction with or separate from his musical offerings.

From festival stages in America to concert halls all over Europe, listeners continue to be charmed by the openness and honesty of Spencer’s music and his gracious personality. In a world filled with synthesized pop music, Spencer Bohren defines artistic integrity.

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