“I’m tired, man,” Bobby Bare Jr. says by phone from his home in Nashville. “I just finished a great rehearsal.” Bare was born there; a slight twang sculpts his speech by shortening certain words and lengthening others. “I’ve got a great band.” I ask about what the show’s like, and he answers by saying, “Truthfully, I’ve never seen a Bobby Bare Jr. show. I think it’s a fun show, but I’m in it. I get to sing and play guitar.” For this tour, he’s got horns, a sax, and a trumpet, along with your basic country-rock rhythm section. He’s going to use all that added luxury, he says, to expand his book a little. “I’m playing something from each of my four different solo albums. But we mix it up — we don’t make anything sound like it does on the record.”
By now, Bare Jr. is at home in the recording studio. In the past, he pre-recorded his demos on a laptop then figured out how many people it would take to re-create his visions for at least two of his CDs. “This time, I showed up with song ideas and riffs and just watched where it went.” He describes the retaining of musicians for his records more as an act of casting. “I hire people and I encourage them to be themselves.”
- Saturday, June 14, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
143 South Cedros Avenue,
I wonder how much of an influence Bobby Bare Sr.’s best friend had while Bobby Jr. was growing up. “Shel Silverstein critiqued every song I ever wrote until he died,” is the way he answers that. “For him, music was just a way for him to sneak his poems into your ear.” Bare Jr. allows that music to him is more than just a poetry conduit, but he often follows behind Silverstein’s same logic. “Did you know Shelby and I wrote a song together? It’s called ‘I Hate Myself and It’s All Your Fault.’”