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This Is Bare Country

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iTunes Review

The laconic, gravel-voiced Bobby Bare made his artistic reputation cutting a series of albums for RCA that skillfully split the difference between country and folk. He could put a rueful country twist on folk standards like “500 Miles Away from Home” or lend an air of blue-collar indignation to country weepers like “The Streets of Baltimore.” The great Chet Atkins had graced many of Bare’s RCA releases with his sophisticated countrypolitan production, but Bare’s first Mercury release, This Is… Bare Country, showed that his matter-of-fact vocals fared better in a sparser musical setting. This barebones production approach makes This Is… Bare Country something of a precursor to the outlaw aesthetic that Bare’s close friends Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson would pioneer at the dawn of the ‘70s. The album also boasts an incredible roster of songwriters. Master wordsmith Tom T. Hall contributes no less than four compositions, including the sorrowful travelogue “How I Got to Memphis.” Elsewhere, Bare turns in solid interpretations of tunes by Billy Joe Shaver, Lee Hazlewood, and Harlan Howard.

Customer Reviews


It's great to hear these songs again. As fresh as when I first bought the LP over 40 years ago


Born: April 7, 1935 in Ironton, OH

Genre: Country

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Bobby Bare's story is nearly as fascinating as his music. Bare's mother died when he was five. His father couldn't earn enough money to feed his children, forcing the family to split up. Bare was working on a farm by the time he was 15 years old, later working in factories and selling ice cream to support himself. Building his first guitar, he began playing music in his late teens, performing with a local Ohio band in Springfield. In the late '50s, he moved out to Los Angeles. Bare's first appearance...
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This Is Bare Country, Bobby Bare
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