Bobby Bare - lead vocals, guitar; Max Barnes - lead guitar; Gary Kubal - drums; Ken Smith - bass; Jamie Whiting - keyboards
Outlaw country artist Bobby Bare was always a big draw in the South - especially in Florida - so it was a big deal for the audience when this show was recorded in West Palm Beach in 1986 for the American Eagle Cross Country Radio Concert Series.
Bare had just moved from Columbia to Capitol-EMI records when he embarked on this tour, performing many of his own classic country hits in addition to collaborations he had worked on with musician/poet Shel Silverstein.
Bare has had a long and credit-packed history. After recording as both a country and pop artist in the late 1950s and early 1960s, he eventually moved to Los Angeles, where he wrote and toured with the likes of Bobby Darrin and Roy Orbison. In the mid 1970s, his career took off with the impending "country outlaw" movement - the very one that launched the careers of Willie Nelson (his ex-roommate from the early 1960s), Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and Kris Kristofferson, among others. Rock impresario Bill Graham signed him in the mid 1970s to his management company, calling him "country's answer to Bruce Springsteen."
Having had a number of country hits with Columbia, Bare's popularity began to decline in the early 1980s, when country music generally became focused on pre-package, polished recording artists. Bare moved to Capitol, but never saw the same success again.
This show features a wealth of material - including classics "Up Against The Wall, Redneck Mother," "Dropkick Me Jesus," "Tequila Sheila" and "Drunk And Crazy." Bare also covers classics such as Guy Clark's "Desperados Waiting for a Train," Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Call Me the Breeze" and a re-arranged version of the Tom Jones hit "The Green Green Grass of Home."
This show is not as good as the two shows from 1983 available in the Concert Vault, but is still worth checking out; any chance to hear Bare's distinctive stage presence is not to be missed. Credit ought to be given to his backing band, as well, which is featured extensively in this show.