Bobby Bare - vocals, guitar; Tom Hamilton - steel guitar, dobro; Dave Hargis - lead guitar; Gary Kubal - drums; Ken Smith - bass; Lewis Stephens - keyboards
This great-sounding recording captured on a rainy night in West Palm Beach, FL, showcases country legend Bobby Bare in fine form and in good humor. Throughout the hour-plus set, Bare plays a variety of songs from a number of his albums, including Drunk and Crazy, Down and Dirty, and his newest album released on Columbia called As Is. He's jovial and engaging with the excited audience, and it's not hard to see why he's been unanimously loved as a country artist and performer, as he calls out, "As usual, West Palm you are lovely! This is being recorded for the Silver Eagle Cross Country show, so we're going to have a big time tonight." Indeed, he makes sure of it.
Bare was born in Ironton, Ohio in 1935, and has had a long and storied personal life and musical career. He signed with Columbia Records in the 1950s before being drafted into the army, and wrote a song called "The All American Boy," which went to number two on the Billboard Charts for his friend Bill Parsons. He had better luck performing his own songs under the RCA label, and the first song he released through RCA called "Shame On Me" sold almost one million copies in 1962. From there on out, it was a series of highlights for Bare on the country music circuit, with Grammy wins, successful album sales, and down-home credibility.
Bare is notorious for switching his allegiance from label to label, signing to Columbia, RCA, Mercury, and then back again. He also worked with Bill Graham for a time in the late '70s, signing to his management company and receiving a huge promotional push through Graham's influence (who called Bare the "Springsteen of Country Music.") In 1979, back on Columbia, he sang a duet with Roseanne Cash called "No Memories Hangin' Round" which effectively helped jumpstart Johnny's daughter's career. The early '80s saw Bare explore Southern Rock, as exemplified by the album Drunk and Crazy, and a few years after this show was recorded, he became a staple on the Nashville scene with his show The Nashville Network, in which he interviewed songwriters about their compositions.
Highlights of this show include a cover of J.J. Cale's, "Call Me the Breeze," "Redneck Mother," "Numbers" from the Down and Dirty album, and "High Heel Sneakers," which ends the show.