Bruce Joyner 
and the Reconstruction

Photo by Daniel Coston

Bruce Joyner is back, and in top form, with a new record and a new band. Joyner’s Southern gothic lyrical imagery, with stories of the swamps and the devils and sinners who live there, are told in his unique frenzied rhythm n’ blues infused vocal style.  The Reconstruction is comprised of Joyner’s long-time collaborator Tom Byars on guitar, Will Byars on bass and Charles Pinkham on drums. These hard livin’, hard rockin’ southern gents have been together since 2002, playing regional shows around the South while writing and recording the material for this new album.

In 1980 Bruce moved from South Georgia to southern California and was signed to Sire Records with his band- The Unknowns. The Unknowns released two excellent records, but in 1982 Joyner left the band. From 1983 to 1986 Joyner released three albums as Bruce Joyner and the Plantations, culminating in the album “Swimming With Friends” which featured John Doe, Ray Manzarek, Steve Wynn, Stan Ridgway (Wall Of Voodoo), and Sky Saxon (The Seeds). This was followed by four solo albums, between 1987 and 1993, the last of which was produced by Peter Buck.

Now living back in the South, Joyner is once again fueled by the sublime and grotesque imagery of his native soil. This new collection of songs captures what Tennessee Williams once described as "an intuition, of an underlying dreadfulness in modern experience."

mp3 of Hard Machine  
mp3 of Swamp Fox Foxy  

Live in NYC May 12,  2005


Bruce Joyner was back for his first NYC show since 1981, backed by the fabulous Tom Byars on guitar, Will Byars on bass and Charles Pinkham on drums. The boys kicked ass and made some great new fans, including Andrew W. K. , who spent the whole set front and center cheering them on.


To get to the Reconstruction you have to take the time machine all the way back to the swamps of South Georgia, 1978. Bruce Joyner had started the only art-punk band in the region- The Stroke Band. While making their one and only record, Green and Yellow, the producer- Lester Folsom, asked me to show up and add some guitar. I ended up in the band and during the next year we put out the record and played just one show- at Joe's Cellar in Albany, GA at a strip club frequented by marines and toothless old men- there was a shooting at the club after a fight broke out in front of the stage. But mostly we just got together and recorded more original tunes and a whole lot of bizarre improvs, with Bruce's stream of consciousness lyrics and free-form synth playing over the primitive drum beat of Max Sikes and my guitar noise. 

In early 1980 I headed north, first to Virginia Beach where I started Citizen 23, by the end of the year I was on to D.C. to start the Velvet Monkeys. Bruce headed west, initially with Max and Mark Neil. Max didn't last too long, but Mark and Bruce formed the Unknowns and had their first record, Dream Sequence, out on Sire Records in 1981. I've stayed in touch with Mark, who I had done a lot of recording with at the same time the Stroke Band was active, but Bruce and I had not spoken since I left the Stroke Band. 

In 2002 I heard from Mark that Bruce was active and playing again. I asked a investigative reporter friend, Chris Grier, to do a little sleuthin' and soon enough he had tracked down Bruce. I called Bruce up and we decided right away that we needed to do some work together on his new band, The Reconstruction. I had Bruce send up all their demos and over the next few months we culled the best ones, worked on the arrangements, and the band kept on churnin' out more new tunes. When all seemed right they went in and tracked them with Mitch Easter. Now I'm mixing them and adding a few guitar and backing vocals as well. It's a real blast to be workin' with Bruce again, his voice sounds stronger than ever, his lyrics are as twisted as they used to be, and he still barks like a dog and howls at the moon! - Don Fleming 

ye days of old . . .

Stroke Band   

Green and Yellow LP Abacus Records 1978 (USA) # 78-095

Bruce Joyner - vocals, synthesizers, percussion / Don Fleming - guitar, bass, synthesizers, percussion / Rusty Jones - guitar, bass / Robert Folsom - acoustic guitar, Moog, percussion / Max Sikes - drums / Alva Dickerson - guitar / Danny Heitzhausen - bass / Jerry Williams - Moog Recorded in 1978 Trackmaster Studios, Valdosta, Georgia / produced by Robert Lester Folsom


  AUDIO: MP3 of "Spaced"



Bruce Joyner and Reconstruction Web Site

The Unknowns - Dream Sequence (Sire/Bomp!, 1981)

Cool Bruce Joyner Web Site





back to InstantMayhem