Listen Up: Wednesday, July 18, 2007
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A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Bobby Bare


Bobby Bare Sings Lullabys, Legends and Lies
(and More)
(RCA Nashville/Legacy)

By Tom Geddie

The songs on this remastered and augmented version of Bobby Bare’s 1973 album Bobby Bare Sings Lullabys, Legends and Lies exist in a world that’s just a little more interesting because it’s slightly off-kilter: You’ll come across a voodoo queen, a magical stone that makes a poor family’s water taste like soup, a mechanical woman and “ever-lovin’ machine” who runs off with the toaster, true lies, a magic pen that writes hit songs, and on and on.
Fourteen of the songs on Bobby Bare Sings Lullabys, Legends and Lies (and More) were on the original album. The other 16 tracks on this two-disc set are compiled from various albums. All 30 songs were co-written by Playboy cartoonist and children’s author Shel Silverstein and recorded in Bare’s easy, casual baritone before a small, noisy studio audience that included his wife Jeannie, Waylon Jennings, and Mickey Newbury. What you won’t find are the Bare/Silverstein classics “Detroit City,” “500 Miles Away From Home,” “Miller’s Cave,” and “Dropkick Me, Jesus (Through the Goalposts of Life).” You also won’t find Silverstein’s expletive-filled “Redneck Hippie Romance,” although there are clean versions of a half-dozen bawdy Bare/Silverstein songs.
To call what is here a collection of “novelty songs” would be wrong. Just about all of Bare/Silverstein’s work deals with the human condition at its best or near its worst. Bare is equally good on the handful of “serious” tracks, notably “The Hills of Shiloh.”
There’s also the debut of Bobby Bare Jr., age 5, introduced by his dad as the “next superstar,” who warbles on the aside “Daddy What If.” Now all growed-up and frontman of the alt-rock band Young Criminals Starvation League, Junior got even in 2005, when he talked his semi-retired father into the studio to do the classics-filled The Moon Was Blue.
The elder Bare was one of the first major-label artists to control the production of his music. The live-studio technique creates a friendly intimacy that, 30 years later, still serves the songs well.


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