Few bands can tour with the Black Crowes and survive.
The band is well-known for its debauchery and for being a tough act to have to go on before. But Nashville-based Bare Jr. pulled it off and probably made it tough for the Crowes to top its act.
“It was a blast,” Bobby Bare Jr., the band’s namesake and lead guitarist/vocalist, said of their jaunt — which included a memorable stop in Amsterdam — with the Southern rockers. “I describe what we do as southern and rock, but it’s not southern rock. It was a great pairing.”
The boys in Bare Jr. rock — make no mistake. But they also twang, thrash and plod their way through a well-written, sludgy brand of electric fuzz that owes equal parts to the band’s southern origin as it does to today’s down-tuned bands.
Bobby has himself an interesting set of influences. His father, Bobby Sr., is a well-known country artist, perhaps best known for penning the lyrics “drop kick me Jesus through the goal posts of life.” He did time on his dad’s tours, which may account for Bobby Jr.’s penchant for road life.
“I used to sell T-shirts in the ’70s and ’80s working for my dad,” Bare Jr. said. “He started in rockabilly — pure Satan music in those times. What I’m doing is sissified compared to doing rockabilly in ’58, but he understands the adventure.”
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The rest of the band Keith Brogdon on drums — Dean Tomasek on bass and dulcimer player Tracy Hackney — aptly back Bare Jr.’s thought-provoking songwriting style on the band’s latest release, Brainwasher. But the stage is where the band comes alive.
Bare Jr. thrashes around on the stage, curly mop flying, while the other members join in the revelry. Bare Jr. said besides the on-stage antics, the band tries to give something extra to the fans in attendance.
“I want to give them words and volume; songs that you might actually remember,” Bare Jr. said. “How many times do you go to a show and you can’t remember what songs you heard? I try every way I can to make sure people remember some of the words.”
Memorable is a good way to describe the songs on Brainwasher.