ThorNton Creek
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ThorNton Creek

Seattle, Washington, United States | SELF

Seattle, Washington, United States | SELF
Band Americana Rock


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Thornton Bowman with his raspy vocals and vocal timbre matches Stephen Stills in his younger years. The six are well aware of the fact that too much is too much. They are avoiding this pitfall. Arrangements on this album are thus carefully done. "A Different Door" contains beautiful melancholic Americana music with a laidback groove. It is a relief to hear the creative melodies, compelling vocals and lyrics about everything Bowman is moved by. [The CD] is a wonderful, enjoyable and well made record. (Johan Schoenmakers)
- altCountryForum

If you've ever hung out at honky tonks in a small western town watching locals two step and swing to music accented by clinking glasses, then you have experienced Thornton Creek. And if you listen only for the "feel," you might miss something important: the intriguing lyrics of Thornton Bowman. While playful at times to fit the instrumental mood of the song, there is nothing ordinary about these lyrics. In "Leavin' it Alone," Bowman moves from "at the top of my voice, there was silence - nothing but words piled at my feet" to, "at the bottom of silence truth is stirring - sounds like noise if you let it shout," capturing in an original way the feel of the aloneness that comes not from solitude but from choices made and loves lost. Several of the tunes are gospel edged, musically, but again, there is a twist in the lyrics that reveals a wry mind and a well-traveled soul. In "By and By," Bowman presents a dialogue between the conductor of a train bound for the hereafter and a preacher from the here and now. Sometimes the promises made in funereal moments can engender bold questions, as is done here with skill by Bowman. No easy answers here. Musically, this is a fun-filled album, but take a moment to sit with the lyric sheet to appreciate the craft and the wry view of songwriter Thornton Bowman.

Char Seawell, Victory Review, October 2006

- Victory Review

From The Seattle PI
For 10 years, ThorNton Creek has been a reminder of the days when Seattle clubs were ablaze with good-time country rock 'n' roll. A good song, a danceable beat and some hot licks are the recipe for all the 14 tracks on the band's new release, "Whiskey." Thornton Bowman sings in a straightforward high tenor reminiscent of Country Joe McDonald. His vocals are sweetened by MJ Bishop's harmonies. Don Miller's versatile guitar playing ranges from the laid-back swing of "Laugh Away," the roots rock of "Mind Like a Window," to "New One's" psychedelic fire.

Bill White, November 2006
- Seattle PI

If you are looking for a laid-back, no-attitude band to play your laid-back, no-attitude club, you couldn't ask for a better group than ThorNton Creek. We had them in more than once, and every time they packed the house. This CD is a great addition to their already fantastic song library, and I look forward to seeing them play some of this new stuff live. Outstanding musicians and a really cool group of people - I just can't say enough good things about them.

Clay from Guppys West Seattle

- From CD Baby

The name ThorNton Creek conjures up the image of a Bluegrass band, but this band has a diverse sound that's hard to categorize - sort of country/folk/pop, but frequently with more edge; and of course this CD is 'six times stronger.' Stronger than what, I am not sure, but it is a strong CD. The band cranks out 11 solid tracks, plus a delightful bonus track/jam at the end....this is a tight, well produced CD, that will bring the listener back to it again and again in order to fully appreciate its many artistic levels.

Alan Kausal - Victory Review, Vol. 29, November 2004 - Victory Review

Niet heel even, maar een heel nummer lang dacht ik dat ik naar een nieuwe plaat van The Jayhawks aan het luisteren was. Openingstrack "Frying Pan", zo heet het liedje, kon zo uit de pen zijn gekomen van Gary Louris. Dezelfde melodielijn, en die samenzang, zeg dat is toch typisch The Jayhawks. Maar het zijn ThorNton Creek uit Virginia, maar tegenwoordig Seattle, Washington, als thuishaven hebben, die het zingen, een talentvolle countryrockband, zo bewijzen ze op hun nieuwste plaat "Whiskey". En wat is dit een klasse-plaat, een heerlijke plaat, vol pareltjes. Frontman zanger/gitarist/componist Thornton Bowman en Don Miller (lead guitar, vocals), MJ Bishop (mandolin, percussie, vocals), Walter Harley (bass, harp, vocals) en Mark Drake (drums, vocals), vormen al sinds 1997 ThorNton Creek. Mooie naam, maar deze naam is dan ook zomaar niet gekozen. ThorNton Creek komt van 'Thornton' Bowman die woont en werkt in de Thornton 'Creek' Watershed en die voor het ontstaan van de band reeds met het album "In the Kitchen of the Blacksmith" (1996) op de markt kwam. Wat er nadien gebeurd mag zijn kan u al raden. ThorNton Creek bestaat en hoe? Na "Songs From the Urban Watershed" (1998), "Six Times Stronger" (2003) is "Whiskey" hun derde plaat met loepzuivere koortjes en gladgestreken rock-akkoorden, die het geluid bepalen, dat verder door de producer Kevin Suggs wordt aangevuld met vernuftige arrangementen en allerhande trucjes. Deze vijfrmansgroep is op hun best als ze zich begeven op het pad van de melodieuze countryrock en frisse rootsmuziek, waarin we invloeden van John Prine, Whiskey Town, Wilco, Grateful Dead, Taj Mahal, The Waifs, Greg Brown, Gillian Welch en Neil Young horen. Een geluid dat ze de hele plaat vol houden. De melodieën en harmonieën zijn bij vlagen mierzoet, maar wie daar door heen bijt hoort folk- en countryrock waarin ThorNton Creek het sterkst zijn. Luister maar even naar de tweede track, het swingende old-time klinkende "Sugar Mama", jengelendende banjo brengt u dadelijk in de sfeer van dit album, naast dit absolute hoogtepunt zijn er nog zovelen rootsjuweeltjes. "Whiskey" is een plaat waarmee alternatieve countryrock zeker het rootspubliek kan bereiken.

Freddy Celis
- Rootstime - Belgium

… if you like Neil Young, Bowman will have you beaming. The man isn’t a clone by any means, but there’s enough in his voice to get you harking back to old Neil’s acoustic work. As far as his writing goes, the songs are a much more slippery beast, lyrically dense, sometimes even serpentine, uncoiling soul the way a good song should and that little kernel of truth, the way the best songwriters should.

Chris Nickson
- The Rocket

Bowman’s Neil-Youngish voice is pleasant and expressive… Sort of country music themes, but with some nice pop-folk rhythmic grooves. I particularly liked the last cut, “Magdelana.” They’re working on a new CD - I’ll be interested to hear it.

Ted Briggs-Comstock
- Victory Review


A Different Door, released 2012
Whiskey, released July 2006
Six Times Stronger
Songs from the Urban Watershed, ThorNton Creek version 1.2

Various songs from all these releases can be found at these fine places:



Thornton Bowman’s lyrics and wistful Southern voice are at the heart of the band, harkening to, John Hiatt, Wilco, and John Prine. Thornton Bowman grew up in Virginia near the Tennessee border. His early musical influences were Hank Williams, Joe and Eddie, Johnny Horton, and The Band. In 1991 he moved to Seattle’s Thornton Creek Watershed. The band began performing shortly after Bowman released his solo CD, In the Kitchen of the Blacksmith. Don Miller (electric guitar, vocals), Steve Miller (electric bass), and Mark Drake (drums) fill out the band.

ThorNton Creek's music explores a variety of styles that range from haunting Neil Young acoustic to Lynyrd Skynyrd southern rock. But ThorNton Creek takes it one step further to incorporate elements of blues, jazz, and country. ThorNton Creek's music has a pleasant familiarity, but they are not clones.