Bobby Bare Jr. grew up next to George Jones and Tammy Wynette. He was nominated for a Grammy at age 8 for "Daddy What If," a duo with his father, Bobby Bare. As a kid, he was on Hee-Haw. You heard me: On. Hee. Haw.
Bare Jr. has assumed the mantle of a compellingly unpredictable musical family. He will perform at the Hi-Tone on Saturday, January 11th, along with Memphis' three-headed musical treasure, the Memphis Dawls.
Bobby Bare Sr. was Willie Nelson's roommate for a spell. He had several cross-over hits in the '60s with rockabilly talkers in the manner of C.W. McCall, the Bopper, and Johnny Cash. Lullabies, Legends, and Lies, his album of Shel Silverstein songs, is really good. Silverstein is godfather to Bare Jr. There's only one way to say, "He's a square." That way is found in Bare Sr.'s "All American Boy." If you ever need to call anyone a square, don't do it until you've listened to that record. Otherwise, it could go all wrong.
Junior hit the scene on his own as an adult with 2002's Young Criminals' Starvation League, an album that mines the songs and sounds of American folk rock without falling into the phony slack-jaw hambone monkey business of alt-country. There are charismatic guitar sounds, real voices, horns (Van Morrison kinda horns) and what I think is a harmonium. Like dad, Junior moves all over the joint and keeps you happily guessing. You can hear that there are people playing music in a room together. It sounds social. Not like a "country" algorithm.
Bare Jr.'s latest, Shame on Me, was released on January 7th on Fat Possum Records. And, if you haven't already noticed, we're totally in-the-tank for those cats; so get over it and go see Bobby Bare Jr. with the Memphis Dawls at the Hi-Tone on Saturday.