Local Wire

Bobby Bare Jr.

It's almost impossible to believe Bobby Bare Jr. is the son of legendary countrypolitan crooner Bobby Bare. Bare Jr.'s tongue-in-cheek lyrics, dry vocals, and '60s pop-infused melodies are in direct opposition to his father's schmaltzy country fare. To be certain, there is the occasional pedal steel lick, but the younger Bare clearly lives in a post-Nirvana, post-Matthew Sweet world. One need only listen to the opening guitar riff on any song from his latest CD, The Longest Meow, for confirmation. There is always a rock edge to Bare Jr.'s music, even on the jazzier tracks of 2004's From the End of Your Leash. But the power pop chords and '60s melodies always belie a deeper, darker side to Bare's lyrics — one that borders on the macabre. Concert-goers who see the Bare name and expect country music will be sorely disappointed, but Bobby Bare Jr.'s music represents experimentation that borders on delightful eccentricity and ostentation in the best possible way.
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Tracy M. Rogers