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Re-Viewed: Bobby Bare, Sr. & Bobby Bare, Jr.

By Julene McCoy in Arts & Entertainment on May 30, 2006 8:21PM

2006_05_baresr.jpgAt the Old Town School of Folk Music on Friday, Chicagoist saw Bobby Bare, Jr. & Sr. perform on the same stage. From the moment that Bobby Bare, Jr. entered the stage, kicked his shoes off, and started tuning the guitar we knew that we were in for some fun on Friday night.

Bobby Bare, Jr. played solo for one song among a stage littered with instruments and then the band entered for a quick little ditty before introducing the man who’s “been stealing my thunder”. Bobby Bare, Sr. began his set with “Detroit City”, “Drop Kick Me Jesus”, and “Shame On Me” all which recall the days of our youth listening to country on the AM radio where singing one verse, then a break for the spoken verse, and back to the sung verse ruled the day.

Bobby Bare, Jr. stood off to the side with his hands in his pockets offering up backing vocals for his father and the occasional tuning help (that G string sure was giving them trouble). Senior recalled his friend Shel Silverstein before breaking into “Still Gonna Die”. Bobby Bare, Sr. made his first CD with the help of his son called, The Moon Was Blue. The next four songs were off that new album: “Are You Sincere”, “Yesterday When I Was Young” (with Andrew Bird whistling), “Everybody’s Talking”, and “My Heart Cries For You”.

More on Bobby Bare, Jr.'s set after the jump.

2006_05_bare.jpgAfter intermission, Bobby Bare, Jr. got the crowd as moving, as much as we were going to in the theatre-like auditorium, with “I’ll Be Around” and “The Monk at the Disco”. “Borrow Your Girl”, “Kill Your Valentine” and “The Ending” all were mixed among new songs from Bobby Bare, Jr.’s upcoming album The Longest Meow due out in September from Bloodshot. Another favorite was “Flat Chested Girl From Maynardville”, dedicated to Nan of Bloodshot.

Most of the songs were from the upcoming album, so we don’t know the song titles, but they definitely fit in with what we’ve come to expect from Bobby Bare, Jr. – rockin’ country tunes. He ended the evening with The Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind”, the unreleased “Just Stop Crying”, and an invite to join the band for beers at The Grafton.

Both Bares have the uncanny ability to look back at the painful moments in life (or is that just life?) and see the humor in it now. They each find catharsis through writing and performing, and the show at the Old Town was a unique look at how perspectives on life can be handed down through the generations, along with genes and talent. Chicagoist was very happy to witness this moment when father and son took the stage together and gave us a glimpse of the past, the present, and the future.