Bobby Bare Jr. – A Storm, A Tree, My Mother’s Head

January 01, 1970



(Thirty Tigers)


Its unwieldy title
aside (it references a storm that felled a tree and mangled his mother’s home),
Bobby Bare Jr. tones down his tempestuous attitude, at least momentarily, for
an album that adheres to a less intimidating template. Nevertheless, while the
wildly irascible rebel that once helmed his namesake band Bare Jr. and the
ominous sounding Young Criminals’ Starvation League seems somewhat less irascible, he still weaves a weary
montage, from the gritty delivery of “Your Goat Is On Fire” and the ominous
acoustic drone of “One of Us Has Got to Go” to the forlorn milieu described in
the title track and the darkly sinister “Jesus Sandals.”


Bare Jr. doesn’t
switch his stance on a whim however. Nominated for a Grammy when he was only
five years old for a duet with his famous dad, and making an appearance at the
Ryman at the same tender age, he’s a seasoned musician with the skill and
credibility to escape from his father’s shadow. Yet considering his morose
demeanor up until now, it’s still odd to hear him exhorting so effusively on
“The Sky is the Ground” or offering such a sweet serenade on “Sad Smile.”  There’s even a hint of humor on “Rock and
Roll Halloween,” as Bare Jr. name-checks Cher, James Dean, Elvis and Madonna as
subjects of some costumed characters he encounters on the trick or treat trail.
Credit producer David Vandervelde and My Morning Jacket’s Carl Broemel for the
extra textures and an album that bodes well for Bare Jr.’s naked ambitions.


DOWNLOAD: “The Sky is the Ground,” “”Rock and Roll Halloween” LEE ZIMMERMAN

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