Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Bionic Bare

Bobby Bare Jr: The Longest Meow
Bloodshot Records BS 132

This is one of those rare records which pop along every now and then that make you sit up and say “Now this is REAL music.” The level of creativity is one step beyond today’s norm and the clear enjoyment invested in these grooves is palpable. You can measure it with a yardstick.

The name Bobby Bare is known to many as one of those Legends of Country from way back, so one tends to assume this must be new country or similar. Then one notices ‘…featuring members of Morning Jacket,….Trail of Dead, Lambchop, Clem Snide’ on the cover and draws the obvious conclusion. Then read, ‘A genre-bending Bobby Bare Jr.., do NOT damn Bobby to the alt-country ghetto!’ and one’s credulity begins to sag.

But it turns out to be right. This is no formula album for that particular cliquey genre. It’s a really eclectic eye-opener. Starts with a short avant-garde noodle ‘Bionic Beginning’ which you want to linger longer over, then it dives into ‘The Heart Bionic’ a brilliant pounding rocker on the subject of techno-reincarnation, in which we learn Bobby runs on electric blood. Cool!

Yer Man has a fascinating adenoidal voice which sounds like it sucked too many Zubes. You can’t fail to love it. Jonathan Richman with a sore throat is the nearest comparison I can provide.

Although there is an underlying country style to the music the predominating vibe is a 70s southern rock groove, enhanced with an appropriate bit of mariachi here, some modern jazz there as the individual number’s mood requires.

This CD’s a great discovery and I want to share it with everybody. So do me and Bobby a favour – get on the net and track it down.

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