When Bobby Bare, Jr. decided he needed a short time to write something besides the rock and rollers his band Bare, Jr. were known for, he enlisted some new help (Teel being the only holdover from Bare, Jr. on the album) and made some music that will surprise, please and satisfy.
With a sound similar to that of a garage recorded demo combined with a nicely produced horn section on some songs, this album offers the best of both worlds. Lyrically Bare paints detailed illustrations of the lives of misfits and loveable losers who try to find a way through the world.
“Flat Chested Girl From Maynardville” is an all too familiar tale of a young girl who feels isolated and searched for any sort of acceptance she can find. Initially coming off as a whimsical folk track, the sound deteriorates into an all out psychedelic jam to end the song. These clashing sounds do a lot to build moods leading to the coming tracks.
“The Monk At The Disco” is an odd tale of an enlightened monk spending an evening with the people who still hang around the disco long after its fall from musical prominence. This accurate portrayal shows how in tune with the oddball set Bare actually is.
In a fit of genius seen so very rarely in music today, Bare offers up “Dig Down,” which is his ultimate “fuck you” letter to the musicians before him who took all the original ideas. Calling out Frank Black, Jimmy Page, Pete Townsend and Jimi Hendrix to name a few, Bare shows a bit of tribute while giving them a reaming. In the end Bare gives homage to Chuck Berry as the only person to write an original rock song. This is a great track for this generation, as Bare says, “If rock n’ roll dies it’s not my fault, I do the best with the leftovers I got.”
Despite the odd vocals stressing in some of the songs, Bare produces an album that opens with feeling (I’ll Be Around) and wraps up with a wonderfully adapted version of the Shel Silverstein song “Painting Her Fingernails.” These songs may never find a home on the radio, but they will withstand the test of time and help people find a bit of hope and originality in the music of today.
Samuel Barker is Senior Editor. Contact him at email@example.com.