Bobby Bare Jr.

With a drawling quaver that's part Paul Westerberg, part Jolie Holland, Bobby Bare, Jr., is an arresting enough vocal presence to let clever, slow-burn lyrics ("What's making you smile is making me sad," "The moon is shining on the water, and the water is all over you") sink in amid amiable alt-pop along a Springsteen-Strummer continuum, steeped in the absorbed influences of his native Nashville. The title of his latest album, A Storm, a Tree, My Mother's Head, was inspired by a real-life collision of those three things two years ago, while the recent Twistable, Turnable Man: A Musical Tribute to the Songs of Shel Silverstein pays homage to his late friend—who wrote "A Boy Named Sue" as well as "The Giving Tree"—by enlisting newer ones, including My Morning Jacket and Frank Black and Joey Santiago of the Pixies. The album also brings him full circle with his first hit, "Daddy What If," which he sang with Bare, Sr., when he was five years old, and now sings with his four-year-old daughter, Bella. The man is as fascinating covering The Smiths as he is collaborating with Will Oldham, and if he seems to have made peace with his roots, he shows no signs of growing comfortable or predictable. With Blue Giant. 18+. (Photo by Joshua Black Wilkens)
Sat., Oct. 9, 8 p.m., 2010

 
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