Bobby Bare Jr. – OK-I’m Sorry
On his 2002 solo debut Young Criminals Starvation League, Bobby Bare Jr. threw back the thick curtains of guitar noise he’d long been hiding behind and let the sun shine in on his soul. And while that disc revealed Bare’s brainy side, his bleeding heart, and his ample sensitivity, the subsequent tour proved he hadn’t gone soft.
Live tracks taped on that tour comprise the core of this eight-song EP, and show that Bare’s road band can hit for power when it’s called for, even on the generally downcast, introspective Young Criminals material. The version of “Flat Chested Girl From Maynardville” here turns on a series of dynamic shifts before collapsing in a giddy skronk outro that runs clear off the rails, and the quintet’s take on “I’ll Be Around” gathers steam behind the sassy trumpet licks and hulking baritone sax of guest horn players Nate Walcott and Deanna Varagona.
Fans will surely welcome the presence of a few new tunes, too, They include the gritty rocker “Valentine” and giddy novelty “Mother Ucker”, both captured live, as well as “Pinky”, a studio outtake Bare co-wrote and sings with the breathy eccentric Tywanna Jo Baskette.
Like most filler EPs, OK I’m Sorry has its inconsistencies. I’ll defer comment on the video portion of the disc (sorry, wrong software) and give a shrug to covers of the old Coke jingle “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” and Shel Silverstein’s song-poem “True Story”. That said, those weaker moments are redeemed by the demo version of “I’ll Be Around” that concludes the disc. Stripped down to warm acoustic guitar and Bare’s raw wail, it sounds so intimate you’d think Bobby was sitting in your kitchen.